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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/4/20

A US-Iranian War -- What Does Putin Want?

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Gen. Qassem Soleimani a .folk hero. to Iranian hardliners
Gen. Qassem Soleimani a .folk hero. to Iranian hardliners
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It's time for Americans to grow up and smell the coffee. The president of the United States answers, to an unprecedented extent, to the president of the Russian Federation. That may change at some point in the not too distant future. However, at this stage Vladimir Putin has a great deal to say about US foreign policy. For now, that might not be a bad thing.

Given Donald Trump's child-like, tantrum-driven, self-serving exploitation of US national security and military affairs for his own political interests, someone has to play the role of grownup on the world stage, and that vacuum may well be filled by Putin.

To the point, it's not likely that Putin does want the US at war with his longtime ally Iran. Both Russia and Iran are subject to US-coordinated sanctions. Those sanctions are economically damaging to both countries and form the basis for the Russian-Iranian partnership. The sanctions force Russia and Iran into a strategic and economic alliance.

The Iranians will not stand for the killing of Qassem Soleimani. They absolutely will retaliate. People are going to die. How they react, what kind of operation they undertake will be key to the scope of the escalation.

Putin is positioned between Donald Trump and the Iranians. A full-blown war between the US and Iran would likely do severe damage to Putin's broader Middle East strategy. Putin would like to see a diminished US role in the Middle East and on the world stage as a whole. But if that means seriously destabilizing one of Russia's last remaining major economic and strategic partners, he is not likely to remain unengaged.

It is more likely that Putin will work in the background to defuse tensions between the US and Iran. Should he succeed, it could significantly elevate his standing internationally and particularly among Western leaders. The stakes are high for Putin, Russia, the US, and Iran.

All-out war with Iran might well damage all three countries severely. Putin has a significant, perhaps even an outsized influence on the decision-making process of both nations. For Putin, an opportunity now presents itself.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News: http://www.readersupportednews.org

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Mohammad Ala

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Thanks for your time for writing this article.

Lies have been manufactured by Western countries and media against Iran. This is one example.

If media shows the world that assassination is fine and good, other countries might justify it for killing other world leaders. This is bad for the entire world. This assassination will have blowback.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 5:42:31 AM

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Carol Jackson

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While Iran is holding back and maybe deciding that being bombed into the stone age by people who could only be described as "Mad," the truly "mad" are plotting Iran's vengeful strike themselves and will bring it about in the form of a 'false flag.' Something utterly shocking will be required to justify the destruction of an entire modern nation. The Evil intent involved in all this is so vast as to boggle the imagination, but then people have become very inured to these evil doings in recent years. Though people have been asking why all this is happening, reasonable and logical answers beyond "Just fighting terrorism" just don't exist. The really sad truth however may be no more complex than just greed and money, compared to which, human or any other life, has little or no value at all.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 5:35:16 PM

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Putin wants diplomacy and respect for international law. He has demonstrated it many times. Mostly it goes unreported in Western media.

Putin has pulled the US's chestnuts out of the fire many times (e.g. Obama's "red line"). His response to the US's coup in Ukraine were moderate, given the national security threat to Russia.

Putin used his art of diplomacy to Minsk Agreement to defuse a dangerous war. The US has consistently violated the agreement to keep the conflict in Ukraine going. The US is now trying to sabotage diplomacy between Putin and Zelensky.

The US doesn't know the meaning of diplomacy. It is obvious from the budget to the State Department vs. the Pentagon. Actually the State Department is now an arm of the CIA.

The US is the number one terrorist state in the history of the world. Not Russia, China or Iran.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 7:15:33 PM

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