What are Iran’s calculations against the US today?

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Recent statements paint a picture of a solidifying worldview in Iran that harkens back not only to the era of the Iran-Iraq War, but also its view of a ‘final victory’ against the West.

IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER Mohammad Javad Zarif shares a laugh with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Monday (photo credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS)

IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER Mohammad Javad Zarif shares a laugh with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Monday

(photo credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS)

Iran is seizing on an opportunity to confront the US after analyzing current American policies and judging that Washington’s push for new sanctions will fail. That policy is clear from Iran’s constant statements.

Whether it is its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hinting that the “book is not closed” on the US killing of IRGC Quds Force commander Soleimani, or Iranian commemorations of the 40th anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War with statements boasting it can defeat the US in a similar war, Iran is thinking tactically and strategically.

Iran has sent troops to the Kavkaz drill with Russia, alongside other countries that it hopes to work with. Who is there? Armenia, Belarus, China, Iran, Myanmar and Pakistan have sent a thousand troops, Russia’s TASS reported on Monday.

Iran’s Zarif has spoken to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, knowing that Lavrov is discussing moving away from a Western-led international world order.

The Kavkaz drill is thus an embodiment of the potential Russia-Iran-China alliance system. Iran’s Press TV highlights the drill. Iran is also keenly observing Russia’s “Slavik Brotherhood” drill this week. A rising Russia will confront the West and help Iran, Tehran’s planners think.

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Iran’s military is preparing arms purchases from Russia and China, and it knows that China has recently been more robust in sending planes to challenge the US and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Iran’s media highlights Syrian concerns that the US sent “60 vehicles” to eastern Syria. Tehran claims that the US is “looting” Syrian oil.

Iran is keenly aware that Europe is concerned about US “unilateral action” and it wants to exploit this rift. It also hopes that it can prey on US election chaos, arguing that it wants peace, not conflict. The goal here is to try to get the Europeans to challenge America in the West while bringing in China and Russia at the UN as well. Iranian media highlights Russian and Chinese support every day.

Not only does Iran believe this, but it also says that as the arms embargo ends, it will buy weapons from China and Russia, and forego imports from Europe if necessary. The US has vowed to stop these arms acquisitions.

Iran’s IRGC aerospace force head Amir Hajizadeh has said that there is no need to import arms, because Iran can produce enough to even be an exporter and will soon be sending arms abroad. Iran already does this clandestinely with Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, but now it wants to up its game. Meanwhile, the US says Iran is now working against it – alongside North Korea – on long-range missile development.

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Taken together, the Iranian statements by Zarif, Hajizadeh, the supreme leader and others paint a picture of a solidifying worldview in Iran that hearkens back not only to the era of the Iran-Iraq War and Iran’s belief in its abilities to triumph, but also to its view of a final victory in achieving an alliance against the West.

While these are still merely a series of small points of light for Tehran, the rising chorus of voices represents the clear calculations of the regime. It only has to put these plans into action on the diplomatic, military and economic levels. It has prepared for this for more than a decade – and senses its time has come.

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