A New York Times report revealed details about a confidential military plan to send 120,000 American troops to the Middle East.
In the case that Iran attacks American forces or starts ratcheting up its nuclear enrichment program. The Islamic Republic promised to continue its nuclear program if European partners did not hold up their part of the Iran deal.
Hawks in the Trump administration like John Bolton want to crank up the pressure on Iran, and possibly escalate it into a hot conflict.
This plan reflects “the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W Bush.”
When asked about Iran, President Donald Trump said “we’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.”
This same report says that the troop deployment in the plan would be roughly the same size as the Iraq invasion force in 2003.
The withdrawal of U.S. troops in the region under Obama and Trump has allegedly emboldened Iranian leaders. However, there isn’t much appetite for a war with Iran.
Certain scenarios that could prompt a U.S. military response would involve the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and their fleet of small boats that have a history of approaching American Navy ships at high speeds.
Additionally, if Iran starts enriching uranium, the U.S. would have at least a year to craft a comprehensive response. Certain reports indicate that it would take Iran more than a year to stockpile material that could serve as a weapon.
Although President Trump has not committed to a military intervention, Bolton and company have pushed for potential military options in the wake of Iranian-supported militants firing mortar shells into an empty lot near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
In the case that Iran does succeed in enriching its uranium, this could potentially give neoconservatives in the Trump administration a potential avenue to push for military action.
Like Venezuela, neocons have used Iran to try to coax Trump into using military force abroad.