Tense Relations Between Washington and Tehran

Source: Al Jazeera, February 13

Saeid Golkar, an Iran expert at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera: “Unfortunately, the relationship between America and Iran is getting very dangerous. I think people in the Trump administration will try to make Iran do something stupid,” he said, warning of further US actions, such as more sanctions and support for regime change in Tehran.

What is also alarming is the bluster coming from the Trump White House, Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, told Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark. “If you only have the ability to dial it up, but not dial it down, that is what is most worrisome right now because it could, unfortunately, lead to a military confrontation,” he said, as he called on US officials to establish direct contact with Iranian officials to ease the tension.

So far, none of the senior Trump officials have made any public effort to talk with Tehran. Like Trump and Mattis, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – a former military spy chief – is known as an anti-Iran hardliner. Following the recent missile tests, Flynn came out swinging, with the headline-grabbing statement that the White House is “putting Iran on notice.”

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2 responses to “Tense Relations Between Washington and Tehran

  1. Josef Eisinger

    Glad to see that Flynn (unlike Errol) is out!

  2. Opponents of US diplomacy frequently complain that Americans fail to understand the viewpoint of other nations.
    This looks very much like Tehran has a similar problem. They don’t understand that Americans have little love for Iranian rulers and still smart over the humiliations heaped on the US after the Iranians broke all conventions and occupied the US embassy and held the diplomats hostage.
    If that sounds petty to Iranians perhaps they should reflect that they attach massive importance to national pride and are still killing each other for slights and injuries that are centuries old.
    I suspect Iran is correct in assessing that some in the US administration want to goad Iran into `doing something stupid.’
    These Americans would like nothing better than a conflict with Iran – particularly because, with Donald Trump as President, there would be no half measures actions – the US military would have approval to use all force short of nuclear to achieve its objectives.
    I think Iran also knows this.