On the eve of the visit to Russia, us Secretary of state Mike Pompeo in the Middle East, a sharp aggravation of the situation. The Arabs have already accused Iran of escalation, the effectiveness of sanctions against which Pompeo was to discuss with the Russian leadership. So who is interested in “setting fire” to the Middle East?
Who burned Arab oil?
On Monday begins a two-day official visit to Russia, us Secretary of state Mike Pompeo. This is the first such visit in recent years: earlier, in April 2017, Rex Tillerson visited Moscow, who held a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Pompeo is expected to be able to meet with Vladimir Putin himself and discuss with him, in particular, the situation around Iran. The United States is tightening economic and political sanctions against Tehran, which reciprocates by increasing anti-American rhetoric.
It is hardly a coincidence that on the eve of Pompeo’s visit to Russia, the situation in the Middle East suddenly escalated.
On the morning of May 12, the Lebanese television channel Al-Mayadeen spread the “news” that seven large oil tankers were blown up and burning in the port of Fujairah (one of the largest seaports of the United Arab Emirates). Al-Mayadeen also reported that American and French military aircraft were barraging over the territory of the port. The Arab authorities immediately denied these reports: Abdul Khalik Abdullah, the adviser to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, said that fake news about the “attacks” on the UAE spread the country-hating forces — Iran, Turkey or the extremist movement “Muslim Brotherhood” *. Iran was mentioned for a reason: al-Mayadeen is considered to be close to the Shiite Hezbollah movement sponsored by Tehran.
And soon it turned out that the news is not very fake. On the evening of 12 may, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that four merchant ships flying foreign flags in the Gulf of Oman (where the port of Fujairah is located) had been subjected to a planned terrorist attack. No details of the terrorist attacks, the Foreign Ministry did not report — except that there are no victims among the sailors, and the ships are not sunk.
“Americans are constantly provoking Iran»
What will be the consequences of a terrorist attack in the United Arab Emirates (even yet unknown details), the “Free press” was discussed with our resident expert — senior researcher, Institute of Oriental studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Mikhail Roschin.
“SP”: — Mikhail, can, in your opinion, to be associated with the attacks in Fujairah with a visit of the American Secretary of state?
— They are connected in the sense that there is a serious aggravation around Iran: the US is going to aggravate, and Iran too. Things are heating up. Pompeo has canceled two other visits and is in a hurry to Russia. I think he will try to meet with Putin. And I think it will be about Iran: he understands that Russia and Iran have special relations, and Russia today is probably the only country in the world to which the Iranian leadership listens.
“SP”: — And Americans, in General, may convince in regards to Iran?
— The Americans are sending an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf. And the Iranians, in turn, show that they are not afraid and can strongly hit the American allies. If this happens, the conflict may break out more seriously than in Syria. The interest of Americans in these conditions in negotiations with Russia is more than obvious.
I recently visited two countries in Europe (France and Hungary) and was convinced that among the General population the international authority of Putin and Russia among the European population is higher than ever.
But us relations with European allies have been very upset under Donald Trump. Us-Chinese relations are escalating. The role of Russia in this development of events will increase, especially as our President and the Foreign Ministry in recent years successfully balance in their contacts with different, sometimes hostile to each other parties.
I think that our continued respect for the basic principles of international law is a useful circumstance.
“SP”: — Well, is Iran our ally or, rather, the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”?
— Iran in the Syrian conflict, of course, was and remains an ally. More broadly, the situation is more complex, as Sunnis predominate in the Arab-Muslim world, and this cannot be ignored. Tehran is trying to find a way out of the impasse in the conditions of aggravation of relations with the United States and therefore appealed to the Europeans with the idea to reformat a number of provisions of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear dossier. But Americans are constantly trying to provoke Iran to rash actions.
“SP”: — do You mean, for example, information about the bombing of tankers?
— It is not yet clear what exactly happened in the Fujairah area. Judging from what I currently know from the Middle East media, the action was more of a warning threat.
But the attack on tankers and oil terminals is quite a possible development in the event that the struggle in the Middle East, in which the US persistently involves Iran, will unfold for real.
*The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization by a decision of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation of 14 February 2003, and its activities in the Russian Federation are prohibited.