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A new ‘arc of crisis’ (of nerves)

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22.07.2019

Commentary. It's been 40 years since the expression ‘the arc of crisis’ was last used, back in 1979, when Khomeini rose to power in Iran and the Red Army's war in Afghanistan was about to start. To stay afloat in this new crisis, one needs the right allies.

written by Alberto Negri

Topic Middle East and North Africa

July 22, 2019

The “oil tanker war” in the Strait of Hormuz has brought everyone to the brink of madness, at a point through which one third of the world’s crude oil is shipped. It’s been 40 years since the expression “the arc of crisis” was last used, back in 1979, when Khomeini rose to power in Iran and the Red Army’s war in Afghanistan was about to start. One year later, Saddam Hussein would attack Tehran, blowing up the whole Gulf (and oil prices) with a conflict that led to one million deaths.

Now, Donald Trump and his inner circle of neocons like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo want to bring us back to that time by pushing Iran into a corner: they are willing to negotiate with a dictator with a nuclear arsenal, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, but want to suffocate the Tehran regime.

The reason is simple: control over oil routes and world supply routes, and ultimately containing China, is one of the strategic levers the US is counting on, while the Iran of the ayatollahs is the “wild card” standing in their way, which they want to eliminate sooner or later.

Today, there is a new “arc of crisis” that runs more or less along the same territories as in ‘79, but with completely different alliances and different regimes. Furthermore, some states have disappeared, such as........

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