US-Iran relations are the biggest problem in the Middle East
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States wouldn't tolerate Iran’s “threatening behavior". Washington has accused Iran of attacking Saudi oil facilities on September 14. According to rumors, the US administration plans to create international coalition against Iran during the high-level working week of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Leading researcher at the Oriental Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Sazhin, commenting on allegations of attacks against enterprises of the national oil company of Saudi Arabia Saudi Aramco, said that "situation in Iran is extremely difficult not only economically or politically, but also when it comes to the fate of the nuclear deal and security systems in the Persian Gulf. US-Iran relations are the biggest problem in the Middle East."
“When several days ago US President Donald Trump fired his national security advisor, hardliner John Bolton, one of the reasons for that decision was that Trump and Bolton disagree on the Iranian issue. Trump said he was ready to meet with President Rouhani and ease sanctions. Overall, Trump even supported the plan of French President Emmanuel Macron, which envisages allowing Iran to export 700 thousand barrels of oil and provide it a loan of $15 billion for oil and other transactions. Trump agreed with this plan, which was also supported by Moscow," expert said.
As for Iran’s position, according to Sazhin, all important issues are resolved by supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei: “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his team were interested in meeting with Trump, because economic situation is very difficult, and Iran needs to urgently resolve the issue of sanctions. Rouhani just had a trump card that allowed him to prove that this meeting is necessary to the supreme leader: Bolton was removed, Trump softened his statements regarding Iran and agreed with President Macron’s plan. There was a basis for holding a meeting to at least exchange views. It's possible that Rouhani would have been able to persuaded the supreme leader... But then this attack happened."
Vladimir Sazhin stressed that there's powerful opposition to President Rouhani when it comes to any rapprochement between Iran and the United States, as well as against the nuclear deal, and this opposition is mainly represented by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). "The IRGC is a state inside a state that has a very powerful potential, very powerful capabilities, both military and political, economic, ideological and even diplomatic. If Iran was behind the attack against Saudi Arabia, then this just demonstrates the capabilities of the IRGC. At some point, oil surges gave Iran the opportunity to earn at least a little bit."