All eyes were on U.S. President Donald Trump in June of last year. Mounting tensions between the U.S. and Iran had reached a fever pitch after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards downed two U.S. drones in the Gulf of Oman. Was Trump going to retaliate militarily? This was the million-dollar question back then.
In September 2018, three howitzer shells targeted the U.S.’s embassy in Baghdad.
Following this development, media reports circulated that the U.S. National Security Council had asked Pentagon for a "military option" to strike Iran.
Back then, the National Security Council was administered by Iran-obsessed Neocon, adviser John Bolton.
Everyone was well aware that Bolton was in favor of using U.S. military power to force a regime change in Iran.
Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his part was of the same mind as Bolton on the Iran issue.
The difference between Bolton and Pompeo was like that between a demonic ideologist and a fickle politician.
While Bolton stood his ground against Trump, Pompeo chose not to overstep Trump in his policy.
Immediately after Iran downed the U.S. drones, media reports started circulating that Trump had approved attacks on Iranian targets determined by the Pentagon.
It seemed that Bolton, who has been defending bombing Iran for ages, finally reached his goal.
Then, a surprise development took place and it was reported that Trump, who had cancelled the attack on Iran at the last minute, hadn’t really believed that the drone was shot down on purpose.
Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, an avid Trump supporter, accused John Bolton of blazing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and of trying to trigger a war.
More than anything in the world, National Security Adviser John Bolton would love to have a war with Iran," Carlson said. "It would be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and his birthday wrapped into one."
According to U.S. media reports, Trump gave up on attacking Iran despite Bolton and Pompeo.
Trump’s decision not to attack narrowly averted a war, even though he had previously said that Iran would “very soon see what we’re going to do” in retaliation for the U.S. drones.
The sword of Damocles falling on Trump and Bolton’s relationship was once again to do with Iran.
French President Emmanuel Macron wanted to Trump and Iranian President Rouhani to meet at the UN Summit in New York on September 24, 2019, and Trump has warmed up to this proposal. However, Bolton was strongly against a "Trump-Rouhani meeting.”
On Sept. 10, Trump has announced that he had axed Mr. Tough Guy Bolton. The Trump-Rouhani meeting never materialized but Bolton was given the boot in the meantime.
Trump, who is in the middle of an impeachment trial, wants to maintain his current position as U.S. president and also be re-elected in the 2020 elections.
Bolton, a determined Neocon, on the other hand strove to further his ideological agenda.
He wasn’t interested in Trump’s political future, so he got axed from the White House.
So, what happened that made Trump change his mind and give the order to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani?
No one would have guessed that Trump, who had pledged to end the U.S.’s “endless” wars in the Middle East, would give such an order that could likely trigger another war with Iran.
This proves that the developments in the upcoming period are extremely volatile and unpredictable. We are currently witnessing never-before-seen developments.
On the other hand, even if Trump has fired Bolton, Neocon hawks are still circling the White House.
The Neocons are at the ready to use every opportunity they have to exploit Trump's initiatives, fears and concerns about stability.
There are very interesting claims in the US media on why Trump decided to green light the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.
It’s as if each claim is a part of Trump’s game plan. We need to put the rest of the pieces of the puzzle together to see the big picture.