by Giuliano Maciocci
It is hard to understand Iran supreme leader Khamenei’s blunder in attacking the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. He either believed that Trump was weakened by his impeachment, as Western liberal media breathlessly and continuously reported, or might have been misled by John Kerry’s incompetent advice (apparently, Kerry met again with Khamenei’s emissaries in Paris just few weeks ago). Whatever the reasons, his goal of triggering a limited war with America to rally his people around the regime has failed miserably.
Iran desperately wanted a war — drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s heart of oil production, false-flag hits on oil tankers, unrest in Yemen — all aimed at this goal. Trump restraint in responding to these provocations must have been disappointing. But as Tehran resorted to attack the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, it must have realized that it had overplayed its hand when the reaction was surgical, devastating, and unexpected: the elimination of the mass murderer Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Khamenei’s right-hand man and chief executioner.