There are fears of a full-scale “apocalyptic” Middle East conflict triggered by Iran becoming directly involved in the Israel and Hamas as tensions with the US skyrocket.
The US has been quick to condemn the Hamas attacks on Israel and is building a massive military presence in the Middle East as it looks to send a strong message to Iran to stay out of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei denied his country was involved in the Hamas bombardment of Israel but Tehran’s mission to the United Nations recently called the attack “fiercely autonomous and unwaveringly aligned with the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people”.
However, earlier this week Iran-backed militias in Iraq claimed responsibility for an attack on US forces at the al-Tanf military base in southern Syria.
Dr Andrew Sanders, senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations at De Montfort University, told Daily Express US of the danger of Iran getting directly involved: “It is a matter of concern, both for Israel who cannot possibly fight on two fronts, and for the rest of the world.
“The potential for serious violence across the Middle East and then conflict spilling into other states is high. If Iran intervenes in Israel directly, it’s hard to predict how that might develop.
“A Hezbollah campaign is perhaps a little easier to imagine and it’s feasible that Israel would be able to manage that, though the inevitable bloodshed across Israel and neighboring states would be horrifying.”
Dr. Sanders played the possibility of World War 3 down but warned that the Joe Biden administration has been placed in a “very tricky” position after former president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018. This unraveled a signature agreement struck by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
He said the countries involved will want to avoid a “potentially apocalyptic conflict” but that there is a real danger of a situation being replicated from the Cold War that will “create a highly stressful environment for all”.
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The expert continued: “I tend to think there is too much investment in the status quo to allow that (World War 3) to happen.
“Saudi Arabia was on the verge of a historic deal with Israel, following other Arab states. Iran’s intransigence over these developments is worth watching and it was a crucial reason for working with Iran during the Obama-era nuclear deal.
“Trump’s decision to rescind that deal has made things very tricky for the Biden administration who appeared on the verge of an interim agreement with Iran, but the recent move to re-freeze Iranian assets will push things back somewhat.
“Avoiding a potentially apocalyptic conflict is surely a primary concern for all parties, but the brinkmanship, as we saw during the Cold War, will create a highly stressful environment for all.”
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Colonel Richard Kemp, a retired British infantry battalion commanding officer who served from 1977 until 2006, also sent a huge warning over the threat Iran could pose in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
He told Daily Express US: “Iran is already directly involved in the Israel-Hamas conflict because Iran funds, arms, equips, and directs Hamas and Islamic State. Iran’s fingerprints are all over this.
“We know Iran has been sending in their IRGC fighters into Syria or at least trying to, and that is no doubt to encourage their proxies in Syria to also carry out attacks against Israel as well.”
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