What new plans does Washington have for Iran?
This week, one of President Trump’s longest serving foreign officers, Brian Hook, announced his departure from the State Department position as special envoy for Iran.
This move is not particularly encouraging for Iran, considering that his replacement will be rabid neoconservative relic and Iran hard-liner from the Bush Administration, Elliott Abrams.
Previously, Abrams was the State Department’s special representative for Venezuela, and presided over a series of failed coups which were supposed to depose Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro.
Based on his past exploits in South America and unabashed support for Israel, one can only surmise that Washington is planning to raise tensions with Iran, which would surely raise them in the Middle East in general. Certainly, Abrams is unlikely to want to pursue anything nearing detente with Iran, and certainly not a diplomatic solution to the collapse of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal set in place by the Obama Administration in 2015.
Presently, the Iran policy pursued by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been one of “maximum pressure” in the former of crippling economic sanctions in the hopes of bringing Iranian leadership back to the nuclear negotiation table, but really its goal is achieving regime change in Tehran.
It goes without saying that any renewed aggressive stance towards Iran will also amplify US pressure already in place on Syria, Lebanon and any Shia elements in Iraq.US Envoy for Iran Brian Hook Steps Down, Replaced by Elliott Abrams