For about a century, US foreign policy has been based on the strategic imperative of preventing the formation of a regional hegemon in Europe and East Asia. It is one of the main reasons why they intervened in the First and Second World Wars, and severely thwarted the Soviet expansive plans. Since the beginning of the Cold War, these two regions have also been joined by the Middle East (and more precisely the Persian Gulf), mainly due to the enormous energy reserves.
And it is within this perspective that we should read the American containment strategy towards Iran. In fact, in recent years Teheran has not only managed to establish respectable armed forces, both quantitatively and qualitatively, but above all it has taken advantage of some regional geopolitical implications to expand its network of alliances and political influence in Lebanon, in the Yemen, and in particular in Syria and Iraq. Finally, the acquisition of the atomic bomb would further increase the geopolitical weight of Tehran, thereby weakening the strategic and negotiating position of the United States in the region.
However, an excessive use of resources towards Iran would be a big mistake on Washington's part. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in fact, not only does Tehran not represent a real threat to American national security, but above all the United States should turn most of its resources into the containment of China, the only nation potentially capable of affecting "hegemony". global".
Taking into account the economic and demographic level (the foundations of any form of national power), Iran is the holder of a GDP of just 1.64 trillions of dollars unlike the almost 20 trillion dollars of wealth produced by the USA (data cia. gov). Even in demographic terms, the United States with a population of 329 million inhabitants (and growing) outclass Iran with "only" 83 million inhabitants.
In comparison, China has a population of over 1 billion, and a GDP that in a few years will exceed the US, thus becoming the world's leading economic power. Even in technological terms, especially in the field of artificial intelligence and quantum, Beijing has shown that it is not too far (or even at the same level in some cases) from its rival stars and stripes. The situation of the armed forces is a bit less rosy - despite recent advances in rocketry - a sector in which the United States continues to hold the record for the time being.
For centuries accustomed to thinking of themselves as the center of the world (Zhōngguó - 中國 - literally means "Kingdom of the Middle", ndd), China is progressively returning to the international arena, determined to play a leading role at the same level as the United States, if not even higher. Pharaonic infrastructure projects such as those deployed in the development of the "silk roads", and the formation of institutions parallel to those created and dominated by the West following the Second World War, such as the Asian Investment Bank and the Cooperation Organization Shanghai, attest to this imperial will (and vocation?).
Therefore, if from an American perspective the containment of Iran is essential to prevent it from acquiring the nuclear weapon (a deterrent which, however, in the long term the Ayotallah regime seems in any case intent on procuring as a defensive guarantor of last resort, and notes the impossibility of trusting the United States, and other nations), and turning into a regional hegemon capable of deciding the beauty and the bad weather in one of the most important areas in the world in terms of energy and strategy; the latter should not be pursued to the detriment of the wider geopolitical competition against China. In fact, this colossus requires the highest concentration of financial, diplomatic and military resources to be effectively faced.
At stake is the status of "global power number one", with all the consequences that this "role" entails.
Photo: US Air Force / IRNA / Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China