Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019
OPINION

Between psycho-game and war

Updated at Tuesday, 25 Jun 2019, 09:20
The Hanoitimes - In showing to the outside, both the US and Iran have been insisting that they did not want war against each other but all determined to respond to the other`s provocations with the same toughness by the same weapons.
If what US President Donald Trump said is true, the US and Iran would have stood just 10 minutes before an armed crash in the Gulf. The US's planed attacks on 3 sites inside Iran did not happen but the confrontation between them still goes on and the outbreak of military stand-off is still lingering and imminent. The situation is still very dangerous, if not much more dangerous than ever before.
 
US President Donald Trump and Irani President Hassan Rouhani
US President Donald Trump and Irani President Hassan Rouhani
In showing to the outside, both the US and Iran have been insisting that they did not want war against each other but all determined to respond to the other's provocations with the same toughness and the same weapons. It is not yet a real war between them but already something like a “psycho game" which isn't less dangerous and catastrophic than a real war because it happens just on the brink of this war.

The US and Iran are now testing the nerves and patience, the sanity and rationality, the pragmatism and fanatism of each other. It needs from both sides a little misunderstanding of information and signals or a small misperception of the situation and evaluation of the possibilities to be enough to make wrong decisions or to take fatal mistakes. The longer this state lasts, the more difficult it becomes for both sides to prevent this misunderstanding and misperception.

Mr. Trump has put himself in a dilemma which he now could not easily find ways to get out of. In the US, he promised not to carry out any new wars outside the US and to bring home US troops now still deployed in all conflicts the US has been until now involved. His promises have met and still meet the mind and wish of American voters who made out of him the now US president and who he definitively needs for being re-elected in November 2020. But he deliberately has been escalating confrontation with Iran, thus having created a situation full of new problems for the US which forced him to send more US troops to the Gulf and Middle East regions. He knows that a military attack on Iran at any dimension could automatically lead to counter-attacks by Iran and then to war between the US and Iran in the Gulf region.

For its side, Iran has now to be prepared to militarily confront the US at any time in the future. It plays the same "psycho-game" like the US. As long as both sides are still able to keep their game under their control, any war could be prevented. But if not, then the war would be not far away - a catastrophe for both of them, for the region and the world.
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau
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