This policy failed from the beginning. For this reason, Trump’s team and his regional allies inaugurated a new project under the name of “maximum pressure against Iran.” This policy depended on imposing “crippling” economic sanctions against Iran to such an extent that Iran would either be forced to submit to negotiating with the US or it would face collapse from within. Insistence on this policy on the part of the US heightened tensions in the region. Tensions reached their peak when the American Global Hawk drone was struck down by the Iranian missile system. The capability and willpower of Iran in striking the advanced American drone conveyed the message to the US that its goal of exerting maximum pressure was not attainable and that Iran would not negotiate due to its being pressured. Simultaneously with the heightening of tensions, the US and Saudi Arabia tried to bring conflict into Iraq. They attempted to direct public opinion in Iraq against Iran by fueling the fire of the demonstrations in that country. Despite the extensive efforts of the intelligence services of the US and its regional allies, the US plot in Iraq was frustrated by the wise measures adopted by the Resistance forces and under the leadership of General Soleimani.
In fact, Trump’s maximum pressure policy was not successful either on a domestic level inside Iran nor on a regional level. These failures caused Trump to change his approach by assassinating the highest-ranking Iranian commander in the region. He had two goals in mind: one was to eliminate the most important obstacle to furthering his goals in the region and the other was to give a shock to the decision-making system in Iran. In this way, he wished to force Iranian officials into giving in to the US and negotiating with it. However, this plan failed thanks to the timely and decisive reaction of Iran and the Resistance forces in the region. The missile attack on the Ayn al-Asad Airbase was only a part of Iran’s decisive response. This precise and well-organized attack on the most important American airbase in Iraq conveyed two clear messages to the US and the Trump administration, and they seem to have fully understood them. The first message is the strength of the Islamic Republic of Iran for confronting militarily any transgressor who wishes to violate the red lines of that country. As mentioned above, their purpose in assassinating General Soleimani was to change the rules of the game and to give a psychological shock to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s officials. And as a consequence, they wanted to make them surrender and accept negotiations.
However, Iran’s timely response proved to the Americans how wrong their calculations were regarding Iran. The second point is that it revealed the precision and capability of Iran’s missile system. Iran’s missile power is considered to be one of the main pillars of that country’s power of deterrence. The attack on Ayn al-Asad showed that Iran’s missile power even exceeded the expectations of American analysts and that if necessary, it can strike irreversible damages to transgressors.
The Consequences of the Assassination of Soleimani for the US
The most important consequence of General Soleimani’s assassination for US policies in West Asia is the formation of a regional consensus among the people and Resistance groups for expelling American forces from the region. This important development started when the Iraqi Parliament voted in favor of expelling American forces from that country. The assassination of Soleimani has made the US pay a high price – higher than ever before – for remaining in the region to such an extent that it will have no option other than to leave the region in the end.