According to AlterNet, Trump has assembled a team that is “obsessed with Iran.” Not surprisingly, in response to the Iranian missile launch, the Trump administration has officially put Iran “on notice.”
It's not that it's wrong, per se, it's that it's simplistic. I must have read 40 books about the middle east before I realized the reason nobody has any answers is that the relationships and entanglements there do not reduce cleanly. Like this:
Iran has been a major problem for the U.S.-Israel establishment for a long time. Iran’s defiant stance and desire to control its own oil supply in the face of U.S. hegemony has been a big issue for decades, as has its proximity to Russia and China. In 1953, the CIA overthrew Iran’s democratically elected leader, Mohammed Mossadegh, because he nationalized Iran’s oil fields.
Technically true - but to elaborate, Mossadegh kicked out a British puppet. The British failed to depose Mossadegh with US help... and then less than a week later, the US unseated Mossadegh and installed an American puppet, thereby assing Britain out of the Middle East forever. The British, French and Israelis attempted to jointly check American power by invading Egypt, then the US and USSR reminded them they were second-rate powers. Then Israel tried to regain some clout with the six day war, then they nearly got assed out in the Yom Kippur War, then the US reminded them we have satellites'n'shit, then we had the Camp David accords which pretty much cemented us with Israel, and then the Shah got kicked out.
And all of that seems irrelevant and inside baseball until you get to
Still, regime change in Iran and Syria has always been the ultimate goal of Israel, even in the face of this intelligence.
Well, yeah. Once we were completely blown out of the Middle East by Iran (they legit captured the station chief of the CIA for all of the Middle East and accidentally killed him after holding him hostage for more than a year) our only real source of intelligence (other than satellites) in the Middle East was Israel. Which is one reason Iran backs Hamas and Hezbollah. You can't reduce all of Middle Eastern politics to proxy war between Iran and the US... but you can't ignore it either. Israel would love regime change in Iran. everyone would love regime change in Iran - they're like the last Shia left. Still - that whole eight-year war of extermination between Iran and Iraq? Yeah, Israel backed Iran.
So, in essence, Iran is not producing nuclear weapons, nor is it backing rebels fighting on Saudi Arabia’s doorstep. This point cannot be stressed enough: despite Iran’s many warranted criticisms regarding mass executions, treatment of women and authoritarian rule, Iran is not doing any of the things the U.S. has accused it of doing as a rationale for a military strike on its people.
Iran is a useful boogeyman. They're big, they've got a giant army, everybody hates them. yet geopolitically, they've always acted pretty damn cagey ever since they ousted the Shah. People forget: five months after Reagan swaggered in front of the evangelical conference and demanded more nukes to fight the "evil empire", Iran blew up 300 US marines in Beirut. And what did we do?
We fucking left.
Even now, Trump is rattling the saber with Iran while boeing has $8bln on the line. War with Iran benefits absolutely no one. Shit, we're to the point where sanctions with Iran mostly benefits Airbus. But all this slips by the wayside if you don't dig deep into what a Gordian knot our relationship with Iran really is.