Iran’s most powerful and mysterious military commander, Gen Qasem Soleimani, has been killed by a US air strike in Iraq. This operation seems as one of the most important actions directly effecting the position of Iran and the dynamics of the region.
Gen Soleimani was much more than a commander for the Iran regime. He was the most powerful international actor, directing the foreign secret operations of Iran. In the concept of these secret operations, he was managing all black-type (legal and illegal) targets of Iran mainly in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Yemen.
According to some pretensions, in addition to be a foreign operations military leader, Soleimani was the director of Iran and dealing with all types of illegal issues such as: unregistered money – weapons – illicit drugs trafficking, assassinations, black oil sales and other related mysterious activities. Insomuch that, he had the power and influence to be able to nominate the very high level governmental positions in Iraq (including the ministers and prime minister). With this influence in Iraq, Iran exploited some of Iraq’s resources and increased its chances of survival against the existing embargoes.
Gen Qasem Soleimani was a brand of Iran, a feared legend in the region. And know death!
This means, although Iran appoints the vice commander to the position of Soleimani, the legend and the high levels of influence is death in Iraq now! So, If Trump continues to govern USA and the current intent policies continue, then we can expect a regime change in 2023’s in Iran. Because after the death of Soleimani, Iran seems to have lost its biggest money boiler: Iraq.
There are also some claims that USA agreed with Russia for the operation of Soleimani. This is because, USA has given another vitally important intelligence to Russian forces and on behalf of this help, Russia re-helped the US forces. In addition, Russia (although being an ally) seems to be not willing (with Soleimani) Iran to gain more influence in Syria and Iraq.
Moreover, by looking from the global sight, US does not have as much of interest on the Middle East as before. Trump management seems to be preferring (with less budget) to determine the policies for the Middle East within the (very hard) deals with Russia and Turkey. This situation may be due to two facts. Firstly, globally China seems to be the most important issue for US to deal with. This means Middle East lost its priority. Secondly, (while China is highly growing) there are not enough resources and finance in the hands of US to highly focus on the region as before. We have to note that, although Russia and China seems to be allies from the sight of first outlook, both actually perceive each other as a threat.
After shortly discussing the political dynamics, after the death of Soleimani, Iran announced to get vigorously revenge of this operation. Region felt in a situation of a witch cauldron. But what can we expect from Iran as a reply of this attack?
Actually, Iran has lost its sharpest sword in the region. Lost its legend and its perceptual scary threat mechanism. In addition it does not have enough power to follow high costly strategic plans in the region.
According to our expectations;
From the sight of oil markets, we don’t expect Iran to try to block the Strait of Hormuz or organize a new attack to Saudi oil facilities. So, the incremental effect on oil prices seems to stay on perceptional levels (not on a real supply cut). This means that, while the risk expectations and the existing tensions lowers, the prices will go back to the ongoing levels. However, by the way, this risky period may continue for months. In addition “70 $/bbl”s for Brent can be accepted as a normal level by comparing the demand-supply balances.
As a result, Soleimani was a commander having dirty and bloody hands as ruins of cruel actions of expansionist Shiite policies. From the other side, US and the due Western minds are also the other cruel and colonialist actors putting the region into a more chaotic situation. With this operation Iran will lose power and we are not sure with whom the gap will be filled with. (There is always a possibility for some Western intelligence services to found a new terrorist organization such as Daesh!) The region needs Turkish help to reach the old peaceful days again, as can be observed in Afrin, El-Bab and Cerablus in Syria!