Tense US-Iran relations

(VOVWORLD) - Increasing tensions between the US and Iran over the past few days have caused deep concern internationally, but they’re unlikely to lead to a military confrontation. 
Tense US-Iran relations - ảnh 1

President Donald Trump last Wednesday vetoed a Senate resolution that would have required the President to seek congressional authorization before taking military action against Iran. The majority Democrats in the House of Representatives said Trump’s decision to assassinate Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani early this year worsened the already strained relationship.  

Trump called the resolution very insulting, and said it was introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win the next election by dividing the Republican Party.

Aggressive moves by both sides

On April 28 the US proposed a UN resolution that would indefinitely extend a UN arms embargo on Iran set to expire in October, 2020.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran’s recent activities provide sufficient reason to extend the arms embargo. The US will not allow Iran to purchase conventional arms after the UN prohibition expires in October, he added. President Donald Trump has instructed the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass a US vessel at sea.

Iran has responded in kind. On April 29, the Tasnim news agency quoted Iran’s armed forces spokesman, Abolfazl Shekarchi, as saying that Tehran will respond “severely” if US vessels violate its territorial waters. He criticized the US for what he called "causing disturbance" in the Gulf. He also dismissed President Trump's recent threats as "psychological warfare" with the purpose of attracting public attention ahead of the US presidential election.

On May 4, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed as “illegitimate” efforts by the US to extend the UN Security Council’s arms embargo on Tehran. Abbas Mousavi said the US’s move is illegitimate and Iran’s reaction will be proportionate.

On May 6, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned of tough measures against the US if the UN arms embargo is extended.

Analysts are concerned about these escalating tensions between the US and Iran, but say a military confrontation is unlikely to happen.

Military confrontation unlikely

The current situation is actually less dangerous than the situation earlier this year when top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad and the two seemed “on the verge of a war.”

Also, neither side has much motivation to push ahead with military measures. Iran is in a difficult fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. It’s in need of international assistance, including a 5-billion-USD emergency loan from the IMF. After all its tough talk, Iran has made some milder statements, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said Iran is ready to discuss unconditional prisoner swaps with the US.

The US is also fighting the coronavirus epidemic and trying to save its economy. Spending money and lives on a new war is surely not a priority.

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