Donald Trump could drag the US into a war with Iran before leaving the White House.
For the last 3 weeks, this has been often written about in the American and European media. I think it is not unreasonable. Still, a lot is known about Trump's desire to hit Iran. And such a risk should not be discarded.
In an attempt to protect his political heritage, make it impossible to roll back his Iranian policy and "annoy" Biden, the current president is quite capable of escalating.
Whether he will do this depends not only on the desire or will of one person. The key will be the presence of allies who are ready to lend a shoulder and support, as well as the consent of the US military leadership and closest advisers who will also be affected by this, including in matters of future careers.
Trump's logic, generously described by the same pro-democratic New York Times, suggests that in the event of a military escalation with Iran, Joe Biden's new administration will face a severe crisis that they will have to clean up over the next few years.
This will make it almost impossible for the United States to quickly return to a nuclear deal with Iran and normalize bilateral relations. Military strikes against Iran, even limited ones, will close the doors to any attempt at constructive negotiations.
The media reported on the intention of the US president to strike at Iran's nuclear facility in Natanz, but then his advisers dissuaded him. Not only the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but also Trump's newly appointed Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, has been sharply opposed to such an idea.
Without the unequivocal support of his advisers and confidants, it will be difficult for Trump to make such a decision. In addition, one should not forget that the majority of Americans oppose the involvement of the United States in new wars in the Middle East.
In addition, the Middle East Eye claimed that Iran instructed loyal Shiite groups in Iraq not to attack Americans until Trump leaves the presidency. This is necessary in order to avoid unnecessary provocations and not give him a reason to strike back. If this is true, then it means that Tehran understands the risks of a possible escalation from Washington.
The muddy story of Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Saudi Arabia, which either happened or not, also fits well into the logic of what is happening. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was just touring the countries that are US allies in the fight against Iran. In theory, they could also talk about preparations for a possible escalation with Iran, especially if Netanyahu was still present there.
So far, the Trump administration continues to tighten the sanctions mechanism against Iran, introducing new and new sanctions packages against the Islamic Republic in order to make Biden's future negotiations with Tehran as difficult and tense as possible.
I think that military strikes on Iranian territory are the last card in Trump's hand, which he can use until the end of the year or at the beginning of the next, to finally stake out the image of a "true fighter against Iran." But whether he will take advantage of this is difficult to say.
After all, US allies in the Middle East, while supporting their sanctions policy, are not prepared for the possible consequences of a strike on Iran itself. In Saudi Arabia, for example, there are enough problems with Yemen, and Israel does not need a new war in the region, given their own internal political and economic problems.
The allies' stance will also affect Trump's willingness to use extreme military measures in the Iranian direction in his quest to prevent Biden from doing what Trump himself did with the legacy of Barack Obama.