Middle East expert Gysling: “As if the Iranians had killed the US Secretary of Defense” – abroad

Mr. Gysling, Trump has liquidated Iranian top commander Soleimani by drone attack. How much does the attack hit the Iranians?

After Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Soleimani was the second most important figure in Iran, even more important than President Hassan Rouhani. Let’s make a comparison: the liquidation is about as significant as if the Iranians had killed the Secretary of Defense!

Soleimani was the flagship general and number 2 of the Mullah state. Why?

Soleimani, as the commander of the Kuds Brigades, recently led the Iranian war against IS in Iraq. He was considered the mastermind of Iranian foreign policy and appeared in the Middle East whenever Iran was particularly concerned. His Kuds brigades play an important role in the Syria conflict and helped keep dictator Bashar al-Assad in power.

What drove US President Trump to this serious attack?

The recent drone attack looks like another impulse from Trump. So he discussed the attack with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but not with Congress. It is quite possible that Trump saw the pictures of the storming of the US embassy in Baghdad on TV and then ordered the attack on Soleimani. The attack is another example of Trump’s chaotic foreign policy.

The Iranians have already announced revenge. What are possible goals?

There will be a massive response from the Iranians. For example, attacks against US troops or oil fields in Iraq are conceivable. Likewise attacks on US warships and tankers in the Persian Gulf. On the other hand, I don’t think Israel is caught in the crossfire. The Iranians want to hit the US directly.

How serious do you rate the current escalation in a historical comparison?

In the past, Iranian militaries have been murdered several times by western intelligence agencies. Soleimani is a different caliber. I see this as an act of war by the United States against Iran.

Is there a threat of a conflagration in the entire region?

The situation is extremely worrying. Nobody knows what’s coming.

Switzerland has represented the interests of the United States in Iran since 1980. Can Swiss diplomats mediate in the current conflict?

Switzerland is just a postman. I don’t think the Department of Foreign Affairs can act as an intermediary.

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