Middle East: Is a New Regional War in Preparation?


Statement of the Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 19.08.2020, www.the-isleague.com and www.thecommunists.net




Last week Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) established diplomatic relations. Yesterday the chief of the Mossad Yossi Cohen has visited the UAE for so called security talks. Cohen's trip to Abu Dhabi marked the first visit to the UAE by an Israeli official. According to the UAE, "The two sides discussed prospects for cooperation in the fields of security as well as exchanged points of view on regional developments.” (1)


This regional development can be attributed to either the fear of Iran or the fear of a new Arab revolutionary struggle. As part of the deal between the two was the suspension of the annexation of one third of the West Bank and the Jordanian valley. Netanyahu has stated that he agreed only to delay the annexation. This deal is an open betrayal of the Palestinian people by the super reactionary leaders of the UAE, servants of American and Israeli imperialists.


"Iran’s Parliament chief has urged the legislatures of Islamic countries to do all in their power to block a “shameful” normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying Muslim parliamentarians must join forces to foil a “political assassination” of the Palestinian people." (2)


In May 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel "to strategize over a range of mutual interests, including Iran, China." (3)


"In June 2019 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had blamed Iran for the "unprovoked attacks" He added that the US had made its assessment based on intelligence about the type of weapons used. But Iran dismissed the claim as "unfounded". A senior Iranian official had earlier told the BBC that "Iran has no connection" with the explosions. Dozens of crew members were rescued after the blasts on the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and the Front Altair, owned by a Norwegian company." (4)


On August 14 2020, "the United States has seized more than 1.1 million barrels of Iranian fuel that was headed to Venezuela. A few days before this event an Iranian military unit briefly boarded a tanker in the Gulf of Oman in what several American officials described as a show of force — and, potentially, Tehran’s efforts to reclaim any of its fuel that might be on the ship.” (5)


On August 15 2020, due to the objections by Russia and China the US was unable to get an extension of the embargo on Iran in the UN Security Council. Donald Trump wants now to force the reinstatement of all international sanctions on Iran against the will of the other members of the UNSC by using the "snapback". "The snapback was granted to the participants in the nuclear agreement in the event of a violation of the terms of the nuclear agreement by Iran." (6)


Meanwhile, the United States reportedly agreed to sell F-35 fighter jets vehicles to the United Arab Emirates, "a move that Washington had apparently shied from due to concerns about maintaining Israel's "qualitative military edge" in the region." (7)


In July this year, "Iran and China drafted an economic and security partnership that would allow for billions of dollars in Chinese investments in energy and other sectors - including the military." (8)


"On August 18th, "Israeli tanks attacked Hamas targets in the besieged Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rockets and airborne firebombs launched into southern Israel" that did not kill any Israeli. Tanks targeted a number of military observation posts belonging to the Hamas in the Gaza Strip," an army statement said on Monday. The Israeli army said that Palestinian "rioters burned tyres, hurled explosive devices and grenades towards the security fence and attempted to approach it" on Saturday evening. In addition, the Israeli army said that "dozens of people had also "instigated riots along the Gaza Strip security fence" on Sunday evening. On Thursday, Israel said it would stop shipments of fuel into the enclave in response to the incendiary balloons. That was followed on Sunday by Israeli air attacks on Gaza, including what a military statement called "a military compound used to store rocket ammunition" belonging to Hamas." (9)


On August 17 the Israeli police killed a Palestinian man after he allegedly attempted to carry out stabbing attack in the Old City near the entrance of Bab Hutta. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society, in a brief statement, said its teams were prevented from entering the vicinity of Bab Hutta to treat the man before he succumbed to his wounds. This cold blood murder came hours after Israeli security guards shot and wounded a deaf Palestinian who was not able to hear the orders to stop at an occupied West Bank checkpoint. In late May, Israeli police shot dead an unarmed 32-year-old Palestinian with severe autism who was on his way to his special needs school in Jerusalem's Old City. (10)


In a case of a war between Iran and its allies, on one hand, and Israel and its allies backed by the USA, on the other hand, the question will be: Is it a proxy war between USA-Israel on one side and Russia and China on the other, or is it Iran against imperialist forces. The latter is more likely. In such a case the interest of the international working class will be a military defeat for Israel-USA without giving Iran any political support.






1) Al Jazeera: Israel's Mossad spy chief visits UAE for security talks, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/israel-mossad-spy-chief-visits-uae-security-talks-200818161805649.html


2) Iran News: “Iran Urges Muslim Parliaments to Act against UAE-Israel Deal” August 19, 2020, https://irannewsdaily.com/2020/08/iran-urges-muslim-parliaments-to-act-against-uae-israel-deal/


3) Tracy Wilkinson: Pompeo makes quick trip to Israel to strategize over Iran, Palestinians and China, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2020, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-05-13/pompeo-makes-quick-trip-to-israel-to-strategize-over-iran-palestinians-and-china


4) BBC: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks: Iran calls US accusation 'unfounded', 14 June 2019


5) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/world/middleeast/trump-iran-venezuela-fuel-tankers.html


6) https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/us-cannot-trigger-snapback-sanctions-on-iran-eu-official/


7) Judah Ari Gross: Reported Deal To Sell UAE F-35 Jets Edges In On Us Promise Of Israeli Dominance, The Times Of Israel, 19 August 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/reported-deal-to-sell-uae-f-35-jets-edges-in-on-us-promise-of-israeli-dominance/


8) https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-china-trade-military-agreement


9) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/israeli-tanks-attack-hamas-targets-gaza-strip-200817075541627.html


10) Al Jazeera: Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Jerusalem after alleged attack, 17 Aug 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/israeli-forces-kill-palestinian-jerusalem-alleged-attack-200817192823128.html




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We refer readers also to these articles and documents:


ISL: Occupied Palestine: Down with Israel's Annexation Plans! The Palestinian Authority Once Again is Betraying the Palestinian People! 30.06.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/occupied-palestine-down-with-israel-s-annexation-plans/


ISL: Occupied Palestine: Is a New Intifada in the Making? 26 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/occupied-palestine-is-a-new-intifada-in-the-making/


Adam Smith: Israel / Occupied Palestine: Trump's "Peace" Plan, 29 January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-occupied-palestine-trump-s-peace-plan/


The ISL’s program can be read here: http://www.the-isleague.com/our-platform/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/summary-of-isl-program/


Yossi Schwartz: Israel's War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, http://the-isleague.com/1948-war-5-2013/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-s-war-of-1948/


Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine, http://the-isleague.com/zionist-oppression-and-permanent-revolution/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/permanent-revolution-in-palestine/


RCIT: Popular Uprising in Lebanon: “Resign or Hang!” 9 August 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/popular-uprising-in-lebanon-resign-or-hang/


Our documents on the Syrian Revolution can be accessed here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/.