Both fascinating and alarming is the map of U.S. military bases in the Middle East, which had been posted a couple of days ago by Juan Cole. Essentially unsuccessful in designing several serious allegations, even casus belli, towards America’s arch enemy, Iran (does anyone remember the assassination plot against the Saudi Arabian Ambassador? Does anybody still believe that the notorious “Addendum” to the latest report by IAEA’s Yukiya Amano is anything else than what has been rejected in 2009 by former nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei?), the current Administration in Washington led by the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama has unprecedentedly surrounded the country with military bases. Anybody with a clear sense for reality would interpret this as an obvious threat of an upcoming war. The Obama doctrine, only borrowed from his immediate predecessor, of “all options still being on the table” in order to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear program (no, there is no smoking gun of a military dimension), is even more terrifying taking into account imminent implementations of more severe sanctions which will inevitably ruin Iran’s economy (with serious consequences for its people) and suffocate the much-hated regime in Tehran.
That Iran has continued today its naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf with firing several long- or mid-range missiles has most probably only been welcomed inside Washington’s Belt Way and elsewhere. That Iran has threatened a couple of days ago to shut the Strait of Hormuz in case of further sanctions as well.
In order to enter the phase of a hot war, Western powers need to provoke Iran to show its might for self defense. So, Iran’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty would be most welcome. Remember, there has been nothing new recently about Iran’s nuclear program.
Update. Iran has denied test-firing long-range missiles today. The schedule has been changed, as naval drill spokesman Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi indicated today. It is expected that long- and short-range missiles will be fired during the power phase of the drill which has started today.
Update II (Sunday). They did it.