In response to the attempted attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Washington delivered a targeted airstrike that killed an Iranian general, responsible not only for the said attack, but also for almost all special operations outside Iran. It's Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Qassem Soleimani.
Qassem Soleimani was one of the key figures in the highest leadership of the Islamic Republic. Almost all of the external areas of Iran's efforts to destabilize the region and satisfy its revanchist ambitions were confined to this particular person.
And therefore it is not surprising that Iraninan leadership has already spat threats against the United States and its Allies such as Israel. In turn, the U.S. continues to boost its military presence in the region. In particular, the U.S. Navy amphibious assault group with the flagship USS Bataan with Marines onboard will enter the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic within 24 hours. Also, 12 F/A-18C/D fighter jets were deployed in the region from the Azores. And this is despite the fact that since last year, the Harry Truman aircraft carrier has been on duty in the Gulf of Oman.
However, I don't believe that all this force, of course, in a coalition with partners, will be fully applied against the regime in Tehran. It's because the Iranian leadership is not so prone to suicide instinct to openly confront the U.S. military machine.
Iran has already demonstrated that it is guided by hybrid methods in achieving its goals. Therefore, an open confrontation shouldn't be expected. We should wait for the increased activity of terrorist groups, clandestine cells controlled by Tehran, and a sabotage network throughout the Middle East, as well as the beginning of social unrest orchestrated by puppet groups.
Iran has affiliated many political and civic groups not only in Iraq, but also in Palestine and Syria. Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon and many other countries cannot be seen as absolutely protected and not influenced by Tehran.
It is also noteworthy that destabilization in the Middle East will lead to the inevitable destabilization of the commodity market. For example, Qassem Suleimani’s elimination led to a rise of oil quotes by more than 2%. If the situation is aggravated and the region plunges into hybrid chaos, it is hard to imagine how much further prices will skyrocket, which would be beneficial for countries that feed their budgets solely from the raw material component.
In addition, the great Persian war would for a long time distract the United States from its everyday routine, which includes Eastern Europe, Russia's hybrid threats, and, of course, Ukraine.
Thus, we are entering the year 2020 to the tune of a Middle East conflict that is flaring up. The conflict, which in its hybrid format will cover not only Syria, Yemen or Libya, but almost the entire region. It's not difficult to guess, who will get the main profit from this. And I'm more than sure that the Kremlin will make every effort to motivate Tehran to step into this hybrid confrontation with the United States and its Allies.