Ende der 'Retreat and Cheat' Taktik
For the first time in almost 40 years an American administration is demanding a change of strategy by Iran. Needless to say, a regime that has profited from the retreat-and-cheat tactic for four decades finds it hard to do so.
Thus, the best that Tehran can hope for in this new phase is to freeze things at present level.
“Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei says he needs to sell 1.5 million barrels of oil a day to provide for his regime’s basic expenses, such as paying the civil service, the military and hired foreign fighters, like Hezbollah, not to forget paying for what is left of Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus. Tehran has already frozen more than 4,000 development projects and increased the price of petrol domestically and cut many subsidies to save money. Further, it hopes to secure part of the income it needs through contraband oil sales via Iraq, plus soft loans promised by Russia.
The one thing that Khamenei hopes to avoid is the humiliation of entering into public talks with the Americans. And that is precisely what Trump wants. Trump hopes to enter his re-election campaign with the claim that not only has he presided over a booming economy, but has also managed to rewrite “bad trade treaties” with the European Union, Canada, Mexico and even China, while calming the North Koreans, taming the Iranian mullahs and flushing out the Venezuelan “communists.” It is clear that Tehran and Washington have diametrically different aims. Yet, both may share a desire to avoid military confrontation.
The question, however, is whether that desire is shared by all factions in Tehran and all key players in Washington. On that score, the sabotage in Fujairah looms like a big question mark.