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EghtesadOnline: In spite of the push by certain hawks for a military conflict between Tehran and Washington, war is unlikely due to both Tehran's advanced defense capabilities and global warnings of the far-reaching implications of such a clash.

Hostile figures in the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been supporting a policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran, which they consider their top regional archrival. 

Recent tensions in the Persian Gulf, largely rooted in the Iran-US dispute over the 2015 nuclear deal, have also fanned fears of a potential war between the two countries. 

Jafar Qannadbashi, an expert on Middle East and North Africa affairs, however, said it is highly unlikely that such efforts could lead to a war, according to Financial Tribune.

"Although members of the B Team have been seeking tensions and military confrontation with Iran, this has not happened," he said in an interview with the Iranian Diplomacy website. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has referred to US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi and UAE crown princes (called bins), Mohammad bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan respectively as the anti-Iran B Team. 

Bolton has been pursuing his agenda against Iran for longer and more seriously than the others, "but the White House has never acted in accordance with Bolton's views", Qannadbashi said, citing former US president George W. Bush's refusal to follow his advice on acting against Iran while the US was engaged in wars in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq. 

The expert noted that Iran's defense capabilities have improved significantly since then, which could be a major deterrent to any assault against Iran. 



Only Propaganda

Saudis appear to be working toward the same goal by alleging that Iran is arming the Houthi movement in Yemen, which is currently fighting a Saudi-led coalition. 

As Tehran's regional policies were among the reasons Washington set out for exiting the nuclear deal last year and reimposing sanctions, some analysts believe the accusation is aimed at provoking the US to attack Iran to create a greater tension that would overshadow Riyadh's conflict with the Yemenis.  

Qannadbashi, however, said such anti-Iran efforts are only propaganda and will not have significant results in practice. 

"Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Washington … are aware of the serious consequences of any confrontation with Iran. Therefore, they show considerable restraint, despite their fiery rhetoric," he said. 

It is absolutely clear to the two belligerent Arab players that any conflict with Iran would have the biggest and the most severe impact on Saudi and Emirati interests "within the first hours and days", the expert said.



A Different Purpose 

The US is also acting with precaution since insecurity near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway for the oil industry, could spike oil prices, he said. 

Despite US President Donald Trump’s penchant for impulsive actions, he has acted with surprising foresight to stave off an unnecessary conflict that could have devastating repercussions for both sides, including Washington and its warmongering regional allies.

The USs deployment of more military forces to the region, according to Qannadbashi, is not aimed at waging a war against Iran, but is meant to serve other purposes. 

“Presenting itself as the guardian of energy transport routes, the US is seeking to preserve its reputation following recent tanker explosions near the Strait of Hormuz,” he explained. 

According to Qannadbashi, the White House earlier sought to replace its forces with the Middle East Strategic Alliance, aka "Arab NATO", but Egypt's refusal to join wrecked such prospects and the US is compelled to keep its own military in the region. 

"By sending more troops, Trump also wants to please regional players, especially Israel, as it needs the support of Zionist lobbies in the upcoming [presidential] elections," he said. 


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