US-Iran Tensions: Is a US Attack Through Iraq Possible?

© AFP 2022 / BEHROUZ MEHRI An Iranian woman holds her national flag as she walks past an anti-US mural depicting the Statue of Liberty on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran (File)
An Iranian woman holds her national flag as she walks past an anti-US mural depicting the Statue of Liberty on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran (File) - Sputnik International
US forces in Iraq have been put on high alert due to increasing tensions between US and Iran. Tehran has said that Washington is waging a “psychological war”. The United States has also sent at least seven warships, including the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, to the Gulf region.

The carrier group has already arrived in the northern Arabian Sea and is in position near Iran.

READ MORE: US Okayed to Deploy Its Military in Gulf States Amid Iran Row — Reports

So does this mean that Baghdad could become the main platform for a US military strike on Iran? Is the local government ready to resist the military expansion of Washington for the sake its neighbour?

Sabah Zangane, an expert on Iranian-Arab relations and former Iranian envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that the socio-political structure of Iraq and the nature of relations between the governments and peoples of the two countries are such that Baghdad would not allow the Americans to turn Iraq into a platform for fighting Iran:

"Iran-Iraq relations would not allow the use of Iraqi territory for a military strike against Iran. The people of Iraq will respond accordingly to US claims. Iran has ties to the government of Iraq, and the people of this country are on the side of the Islamic Republic. The Americans themselves are worried that such a situation will [present a serious challenge to their actions.

We must not forget that Iran's military advisers are still in Iraq to help the Iraqi troops fight Daesh*. There are no forces in the country that would support the intentions of the United States. For example, [in the last few] days, a Sunni cleric issued a fatwa obliging Sunni youth to come to the defense of Iran if it faces a threat. Iran and Iraq are moving towards a closer union — not only a religious one."

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Zangane believes that the latest US actions towards Iran are a means of psychological warfare. However, the Americans simply don't need open military confrontation:

"The US is now waging psychological warfare against Iran. This war is unprofitable for America for two reasons. First of all, because a little more than a year is left before the presidential elections in America; to start a war now is to commit political suicide and cause great damage to both the United States and the international community. The second point is that the United States has repeatedly stated that they are going to shift the strategic centre of gravity from the Middle East to the Far East. Therefore, the creation of another conflict in the Middle East, in the Persian Gulf, would contradict this strategy and would enable the US rivals to use the new conflict to achieve their goals," the Iranian expert concluded.

*Daesh (IS, ISIS, ISIL) is a terrorist group that is banned in Russia

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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