‘Mother of all quagmires’ won’t be limited

September 18, 2020 - 13:33

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seeking to push his boss into a war with Iran, one that would not be limited. A top general also tells the Tehran Times that Pompeo won’t succeed in his efforts against Iran. 

In a tweet on late Tuesday, Zarif blamed the assassination of IRGC’s Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani on Pompeo, whom he described as “habitual liar.” The chief diplomat also accused Pompeo of trying to push the U.S. president into a war with Iran.

“The habitual liar bamboozled Donald Trump into assassinating ISIS' enemy #1 by raising a false alarm. Now he's trying to sucker him into mother of all quagmires by leaking a new false alarm,” Zarif tweeted.

The chief diplomat said Politico, which first broke the news about Iran’s alleged plot to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for the assassination of General Soleimani, quoted unidentified “U.S. officials” in its reports and Trump based his threat against Iran on “press reports” originating from the Politico report. 

“Time to wake up,” Zarif concluded. 

The foreign minister was responding to threatening tweets published by President Trump after the American publication claimed that Iran is weighing a plot to Kill Lana Marks, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa.
“According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or another attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani, which was carried out for his planning a future attack, murdering U.S. Troops, and the death & suffering caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!” Trump thundered in a tweet on Monday. 

Trump’s tweet came after Iran strongly dismissed the Politico report, calling it “custom-made, ill-intentioned, and purposeful.”

“This kind of unfounded and baseless remarks is part of the Trump administration’s disinformation campaign against Iran,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that it was predictable that the U.S. administration would resort to lying and leveling accusations against Iran ahead of the U.S. presidential election simultaneously with its efforts to misuse the UN Security Council mechanisms in order to increase pressure on the Iranian people.

“This type of measures and headline-making, which is likely to continue in the future, will absolutely yield no results and will be added to the long list of U.S. failures against Iran,” Khatibzadeh asserted. He also accused Politico of selling the Trump administration’s “folly.”

Trump, along with his “cohorts”, seeks to boost his reelection chances by leveling accusations against Iran and securing normalization deals between some Arab states and Israel, according to General Esmail Kowsari, an advisor to the chief of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps. 

“As the late Imam Khomeini said the U.S. is the great Satan, and the great Satan always seeks to swindle the people. Trump is one of the great devils. His administration has pressured countries such as the Emirates and Bahrain into establishing relations with the occupying regime of Israel to question [the cause of] Palestine. He is doing so to win the presidential election. With respect to this issue [Trump’s threat against Iran] Trump is seeking a similar goal,” Kowsari told the Tehran Times. “Trump and his cohorts want to create certain circumstances to boost Trump’s reelection chances.”

According to the top general, the Trump administration seeks to cook up stories against Iran to affect the U.S. voters. General Kowsari added that Iran always declares its measures and intentions without any fear of anyone. 

“They are absolutely seeking to cook up a scenario against Iran, and they will absolutely fail. Because their allegations are unfounded and baseless. And the U.S. does not dare to take actions against Iran in this stage,” the general said. “This plot will absolutely and certainly be foiled.”

No limited war

Iran has warned on many occasions that it would decisively respond to “any strategic mistake” by the U.S. and that a war against Iran will not be limited in time and scope. Government spokesman Ali Rabiei warned on Wednesday that Iran will respond to “any strategic mistake” by the U.S., hours after Trump threatened to attack Iran.

Zarif also previously warned that a war with Iran could set the whole region on fire. In an interview with “Face the Nation” in September 2019, Zarif issued a clear warning.

“No. No, I'm not confident that we can avoid a war. We- I'm confident that we will not start one but I'm confident that whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it,” Zarif warned. “That means that there won't be a limited war.”

Analysts also echoed the same warning. Seyed Jalal Sadatian, Iran’s former ambassador to the UK, told the Tehran Times that any military confrontation with Iran will not be limited and could include the region in its entirety.

“Israel can’t confront Iran alone. So, the Americans strengthened their bases in the region to besiege Iran in a way that it would not be able to respond to any aggression. But they will fail because Iran has a strategic depth in the region and the U.S. can’t undermine this strategic depth. So if they attack Iran, they will be bogged down in the region. Any attack against Iran could pave the way for the U.S. to be mired in the region,” the former ambassador cautioned.

Sadatian noted, “Evidence suggests that the Trump administration is likely to wage a limited war with Iran to boost Donald Trump’s reelection chances. And Iran is aware of this scheme and it held the Zolfaqar-99 military exercises to dissuade the Americans from pursuing ill-intentioned plots against Iran ahead of U.S. presidential election.”

The former ambassador pointed to the efforts the Trump administration has done to bring Iran to its knees. However, Trump failed to force Iran into signing a new deal with the U.S. or at least giving him a photo op, according to Sadatian.

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