U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo canceled his trip to Moscow. Instead of the Russian capital, he will visit Brussels, where he will hold talks on Iran. On May 13, Reuters reported, citing the state Department.
Why Pompeo so urgently needed to fly to Brussels? Apparently, Washington wants to enlist the support of European allies before taking decisive action against Tehran.
Earlier, we will remind, an adviser to President Donald Trump on national security John Bolton said that the United States sent to the shores of Iran carrier strike group led by “Abraham Lincoln” and a group of bombers. In response, the commander of the aerospace forces of the Islamic revolutionary guard corps (IRGC) Amir Ali hadjizade threatened the United States with a “blow to the head.”
Word, is brewing gruel. Nevertheless, Pompeo’s European visit will be brief. “Checking his watch” in Brussels, the Secretary of state will still go to Russia — but not in Moscow, and in Sochi. Almost the entire Russian government is there now. Meanwhile, the canceled Moscow part of this visit Pompeo in Russia included only a meeting with his diplomats at the U.S. Embassy, as well as laying a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. By removing these activities from the schedule, the Secretary of state did not miss anything important. In Sochi, Mike Pompeo scheduled talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Later it became known that us Secretary of state can meet with President Vladimir Putin.
All this means that the States are starting “big political poker”. At the heart of this game is major bargaining around Iran. And for us the main thing — what can Russia bargain?
Traditionally, the main threat to the US from Iran is a blow to Israel. Tehran may strengthen the forces of “Hezbollah” that Americans are absolutely not on hand. For its part, Russia now has a serious military contingent on the borders with Israel. Namely, in Syria. At the request of the UN, the Russian military police patrols the Bravo line. In doing so, we are promoting the return of the Golan Heights to control and security in the zone. Along the Bravo line, Russian military police have already equipped six posts with shelters and firing points.
Mike Pompeo can offer Putin a trade: we convince Iran not to strike at Israel. And in return, the US unleashes our hands in Syria.
But perhaps there is another important item on Pompeo’s negotiating agenda: the preparation of an official meeting between Putin and trump. From 28 to 29 June in Osaka will host the G20 summit, where the presidents of Russia and the United States will be at the same table. This is a good time to organize negotiations between the two leaders.
It is symptomatic that on may 3 Donald Trump had a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin. In fact, Trump personally interrupted a months-long pause in the Russian-American dialogue at the highest level. The extremely broad agenda included a discussion of the situation in Venezuela, Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula, the prospects for a nuclear agreement between the United States, Russia, and China, as well as ways to increase the volume of Russian-American trade.
According to experts, after special Prosecutor Robert Mueller did not reveal trump’s collusion with the Kremlin, the owner of the White House is trying to improve relations with Russia. And first of all, because he considers Iran and China to be the main threats.
What can Russia get in the course of the emerging “big poker”? Are positive changes in Russian-American relations possible?
— The main meaning of Pompeo’s visit to Russia is the discussion of Iran, — says the leading expert of the Center for military and political studies of MGIMO, doctor of political Sciences Mikhail Alexandrov. — Talk about Syria, Venezuela, and Ukraine is a smokescreen. To the Russian side to throw a bone — they say, we are ready to discuss other issues.
The fact is that Iran alone is not, from Moscow’s point of view, a topic for discussion with the United States. Iran is the third country that is independent in its decisions. That is to discuss?
Americans, I note, all the time trying to discuss with us and China. And we always make it clear that without the presence of China, we will not conduct any negotiations. I think we should take the same position with regard to Iran.
“SP”: — Why Pompeo urgently needed to fly to Brussels?
— Tehran made an important statement in early May. Iran has stopped fulfilling part of its obligations under the nuclear deal. He threatened to take tougher measures if his demands were not met within 60 days. We are talking about lifting restrictions on the sale of oil from Tehran and lifting Bank sanctions.
Europeans became the main addressee of the Iranian message. They promised to create a mechanism to neutralize U.S. sanctions. The Americans imposed sanctions after a year ago they withdrew from the Joint comprehensive action plan (JCPOA), which was designed to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.
Let me remind you that the US has transferred an aircraft carrier group to the shores of Iran. And now they want to convince the Europeans not to create a compensation mechanism. And Russia is a party to the AGREEMENT to convince such a mechanism is not new.
If we create such a mechanism, the US will threaten military action against Iran.
SP: What should the Kremlin do in such a situation?
— I don’t think we should give in to Washington’s blackmail. The Americans want military action — let them.
You see, now the situation in the world is such that there should be a powerful political crisis. A crisis is comparable to the Caribbean — which will change the entire international landscape. The United States must be “punctured”. Will it be with North Korea, Iran or us? Where are they supposed to get brainwashed?
And now Matures an important moment. The US can “bluff” — in terms of the use of military force against Iran. And I can go for some application of it. And get a decent rebuff.
Then the image of the American Empire dominating the world will disappear. The international power of the USA will fall down — the unipolar world will collapse. This is the most important moment in world history.
And what — in a moment we’ll play along with the US? On the contrary, we need to help this Empire to collapse faster.
Well, you want the US to deal with Iran… but for God’s sake! China will help Iran, we will help. Americans, in this case, are doomed to defeat. All their bluff will be revealed.
“SP”: — And we will promote this?
— In Russia, as I have repeatedly said, there is a very strong Pro-Israeli lobby. And this lobby, probably, pushes the Kremlin to hand over Iran. Here, the Russian public should keep an eye out.
Our authorities, since Gorbachev’s time, can never be trusted. They can always throw any trick against their own country.
Our authorities, let me remind you, destroyed the Soviet Union and surrendered all allies. And then they tried to conclude agreements on arms control that were disadvantageous for us. Then raised the subject of the transfer to Japan of the Kuril Islands. It adopted an ambivalent position on the Donbass.
There are many things that do not allow us to rely on the stability of the Russian authorities. And we need to watch closely: what are they going to do about Iran? Will the Pro-Israeli lobby be followed or not?
“SP”: — Pompeo can offer Putin some exchange?
— Americans can really promise us something. But it will be — as with the expansion of NATO to the East. That is, the first promise, and then “throw”. Even if the United States will sign a document — still “throw”.
Let me remind you that the NATO-Russia Council adopted a Declaration in which the bloc pledged not to deploy significant military forces on the borders with Russia. So what? We see that these forces are steadily increasing. The United States, again, absolutely cannot be trusted. And we need to push our own decisions. Moreover, life itself will force Americans to make concessions. But when the US makes concessions and takes some concrete steps — then we can meet them halfway.
But now we are like the apprentices of the United States: where it is profitable to the Americans — where we support them. And where it is unprofitable — we undertake nothing.
“SP”: — will there Be a meeting between Putin and trump at the upcoming summit of “twenty” in Japan?
— Such a meeting is, in my opinion, not a priority issue. This Russian Pro-Western press inflates: will there be a meeting? What’s the point of a meeting if it doesn’t solve anything?
The point here, from us point of view, is this: we agreed to the meeting — Russia must make concessions. And here are our Pro-Western commentators cheering: Yes, we can meet, we just do not need to remove his pants for her.
I don’t think meeting matters. During the Great Patriotic War, the most important issues were resolved without personal contact of the heads of the three powers of the anti-Hitler coalition. They met only twice during the war: in Tehran in 1943 and in Yalta in 1945. Yes, in 1942 Churchill flew to Moscow to meet with Stalin. And so the issues were resolved with the help of special envoys or foreign Ministers.
In short, meetings at the top are a formal attribute. And for the sake of this attribute, we should not make concessions to the US.