The Strategic Balance between Iran and the United States after the Targeted Killing of Qasem Soleimani

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Sima Shine and Eldad Shavit - The tension between Iran and the U.S. that resulted from the targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani and the Iranian response of missile strikes on Iraqi military bases housing American troops has reached a level of intensity that has not been seen in years, and the possibility of additional deterioration to the point of a broad clash in the coming months still exists. Still, the conduct of both leaderships attests to the fact that neither has an interest in a large-scale confrontation. The Trump administration, which from the outset viewed the American presence in the Middle East as an unnecessary burden, could, under other circumstances, have supported the withdrawal of its forces from Iraq. However, in the situation that has emerged since the killing of Soleimani, it has no interest in handing Tehran a victory. Moreover, Europe fears the possibility of the U.S. deciding to leave Iraq. Sima Shine, formerly responsible for the Iranian file at Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs (2009-2015), was also head of research at the Mossad. Col. (res.) Eldad Shavit served as head of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence.

2020-01-24 00:00:00

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