BEIRUT – The US has been increasing its military presence in the Middle East to allegedly counter the “threat” of Iran, raising fears of another armed conflict in the region.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned the United States against an attack on Iran in a speech on TV. He insisted that if Washington attacked the Islamic Republic, the whole region will rise against the Americans and their interests in the Middle East.
“The US is well aware that any war against Iran will not remain confined to the borders of Iran. The whole region will burn, causing all US forces and interests in the region to be annihilated,” he said.
Nasrallah also reminded US President Donald Trump that when the Middle East “catches fire,” oil prices could reach $200 or as much as $300 a barrel, referring to the 1973 oil crisis that nearly quadrupled oil prices after OPEC members seized the countries that supported Israel.
At the same time, the Hezbollah leader expressed doubts that the US would dare to start a war with Iran.
Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated recently. Washington has expanded its sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s oil trade and has increased its military presence in the region. The US has recently sent an attack and aircraft carrier group, 1,500 troops and a B-52 bomber regiment to the Middle East in an attempt to stem the Iranian “threat.”
Tehran insists it is ready for a dialogue with Washington if the Trump administration changes its policies and begins to act in accordance with international law.
The start of a conflict with Iran could call into question US international status, Washington should not squander its forces in the Middle East and must pay more attention to its main challenge – the trade dispute with China, said analyst Nathan Levine.
In his National Interest article, Nathan Levine believes that the trade war, which has gained new impetus with rising tariffs and threats between the two largest global economies, represents the biggest strategic challenge for Washington because Beijing is a much stronger competitor that Iran to the US. However, according to the analyst, some advisers to President Trump pay more attention to the conflict with Iran, and a war would be disastrous for weakening America’s geopolitical position.