[size=36]Israel expands confrontation to Hormuz and Iraq .. What are the repercussions on regional security?[/size]
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decided to US President Donald Trump 's management, for reasons purely internal, not to beinvolved in the wars of the Middle East, not directing strikes directly to deter Iran and to protect international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and the strengthening of American influence in Syria.
To fill this American vacuum in the face of Arab weakness, there appears to be an unprecedented and risky American trend to authorize Israel to expand the theater of confrontation with Iran beyond Lebanon and Syria, a move that, if it actually continues, could have repercussions on regional security.
The accumulation of events in recent weeks signals a turning point in giving the Trump administration a green light for Israel to deter Iran on its behalf.
Four mysterious bombings since July 19 have targeted the PMU's weapons depots in Iraq, and on August 6, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz announced in a secret Knesset session that Tel Aviv was participating "with unspecified assistance and other areas" in the Maritime Alliance. In the Gulf, which the United States seeks to form to protect international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.
In both arenas, Iraq and the Strait of Hormuz, there is a deliberate Israeli ambiguity to confuse Iran in repeating scenarios of Israeli bombing of Iranian targets in Syria with Russian cover.
A low-ranking Israeli official is also expected to attend the Maritime Security Conference, which the Trump administration plans to hold in Bahrain in October, a move that would complicate even more US efforts to form this supposed maritime alliance.
By organizing this conference, the Trump administration seeks to achieve three goals. First, to ease the financial burden so that it does not have the sole responsibility to protect international shipping; second, to deter Iran from attempts to dominate the Strait of Hormuz;
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on August 13 that "adding foreign naval fleets to a narrow and crowded powder keg increases the risk of combustion."
According to the US Energy Information Administration, 76 percent of crude oil through the Strait of Hormuz last year was destined for Asian markets, while US oil imports from the Gulf reached 1.05 million barrels per day in March, up from 3.08 million barrels a day. In April 2003.
These figures illustrate the Trump administration's lack of interest in playing its traditional leadership role in protecting international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, and its willingness to risk engaging Israel in a vital region for global oil markets.
US efforts to persuade allies to join this maritime alliance are having difficulties with European and Gulf allies, especially given Berlin and Paris' refusal to participate.
The Pentagon sent to the Strait of Hormuz this month a US warship with capabilities targeting Iranian drones and warships to show Washington's seriousness in deterring Iran, but it has been hard to convince allies since Trump's decision to retreat from a strike on Iran after the plane was shot down. US drone near the Strait of Hormuz last June.
When international shipping disrupted the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran imposed two options on the Trump administration: to intervene to help Gulf allies with the dangers of a direct confrontation with the Iranian regime, or to remain idle as long as the targets are not American.
The Trump administration favored the latter option and thus abandoned a four-decade policy that protected Gulf oil movements and appears ready to even delegate this task to Israel to protect the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats.
Katz told the Knesset that Israel's decision to join the coalition came after his visit to Abu Dhabi last month, as part of the Trump administration's approach to bolster the Arab-Israeli alliance against the Iranian regime. The Wall Street Journal has revealed.
Katz also pointed out that the step of Israel's participation in the Gulf maritime alliance "is an Israeli interest to improve the relationship between Israel and the Arab countries, and that Israel is part of the US-led coalition to protect trade routes in the Gulf."
But there seems to be cracks in this Arab-Israeli alliance, which the Trump administration wants to form in the absence of Gulf enthusiasm and the UAE's decision to expand the range of options, through a partial opening to the Iranian regime. All of these factors helped convince the Trump administration that it should rely on helping Israel in the Strait of Hormuz as a regional power willing and able to deter Iran.
In contrast, Tehran has in recent weeks imposed rules of engagement in the Strait of Hormuz, and plans to maneuvers with Russia to show force in a symbolic response to the maritime coalition that Washington is trying to form.
This Iranian-Russian maneuver expected by the end of this year will not affect the naval dynamics in the Strait and will not develop into a naval alliance, because Tehran simply does not want to lure Russian influence into its backyard. Iran also sent letters to Israel in this regard, when the commander of the naval force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Alireza Tenksiri, on August 11 that "any illegal presence of the Zionists in the waters of the Persian Gulf could spark war."
At the strategic level, there are direct and indirect repercussions for Israel's involvement, most notably making the safety of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz an Israeli problem rather than an international need, thus giving Tehran a pretext to militarize the navigation in the Strait.
Although there are no indications that Israel will send naval units to the Gulf, a hint of an Israeli role reopens debate on the scenario of an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities with US blessing. There are media reports of armed Israeli submarines stationed in the Gulf in case they need to intervene, and it should be noted that Israeli intelligence informed the White House that there is an Iranian plot against US targets in the Gulf, prompting the White House to send an aircraft carrier to the region A report leaked to the New York Times about plans to deploy 120,000 US troops in the region in May.
On the other hand, there are unconfirmed reports that two Iranian seaports, Bushehr and Chabahar, could become forward platforms for Russian nuclear submarines. All these possible scenarios can internationalize and reinforce political and security tensions in the Gulf. It is also not in Israel's interest to expand the theater of confrontation to the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran has an advantage in retaliation and attack.
Tel Aviv may have preference and Russian cover in Syria, but it will be alone and at risk in the Strait of Hormuz if it has a naval presence, so the focus will shift to protecting the Israeli navy rather than protecting international navigation. Israel's participation in this alliance could weaken Washington's Gulf allies and leave them with the option of succumbing to Iranian threats or accepting Israeli support.
In Iraq, the possible scenarios are similar, with Israel hinting since last year that it intends to intervene and expand its capabilities to deter Iran beyond Lebanon and Syria. The Pentagon has long considered Israel's intervention in Iraq a red line as a US sphere of influence, and the Pentagon quickly denied any role in bombing the PMU's weapons depots.
These mysterious strikes prompted the Prime Minister, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Adel Abdul Mahdi, to cancel all permits to use Iraqi airspace that did not prevent the last round of bombardment of the PMF this week.
The Pentagon is in the process of thinking about the survival of US forces. There is debate in Washington about whether to continue to fight ISIS, but the conservatives' grip on national security joints gives Israel an implicit cover to expand its activities to deter Iran, embarrassing the US military, which has to deal with Challenges he does not wish to face at the current stage, but is not expected to expand these confrontations in Iraq, at a time Iran played its cards in Yemen, where the Houthis managed to shoot down a US drone.
The confrontation between the United States and Iran is widening before the inevitable arrival at the negotiating table, but the Trump administration's authorization of Israel to deter Iran reinforces the impression that US-Israeli complicity is undermining Iranian influence in the region and exposing US forces to political turmoil in the White House.