Global worries flare over whether US sliding toward Iran war
Escalating US-Iran tensions and the Trump administration’s insistence that it is faced with growing threats from Iran are fueling global worries about a possible military conflict between the two countries. Tensions between the US and Iran have risen dramatically since Trump pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on the country. The situation has further escalated in recent weeks after the US introduced new sanctions and said it was increasing its military presence in the Middle East in response to rising threats from Iran.
On Tuesday, a senior British officer of the US-backed coalition fighting ISIS in the Middle East contradicted US claims by saying that “there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.” Later that day, US Central Command issued a rebuttal of the allied general’s claims, which is a rare phenomenon, by stating that the officer’s claims “run counter to the identified credible threats” from Iranian-backed forces in the Middle-East. In addition, the State Department ordered its “non-emergency employees” to leave Iraq.
Also on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump denied recent reports saying that his government is planning to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East in case of an Iranian attack. However, Trump’s statement actually added to the growing concerns because he mentioned that he would “absolutely” send troops in case of an attack and that “[i]f we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
Iran warned that the US is playing a “very dangerous game” by trying to “drag Iran into an unnecessary war.” However, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that war wont happen because neither Iran nor the US wants war, adding that “they [the US] know a war wouldn’t be beneficial for them.”