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US desire to ‘strangle’ Iran could easily ignite war

Tehran, /Global Times US President Donald Trump on Thursday called off planned airstrikes on Iran at the last minute. In an interview, he said he has gone from being a warmonger to a dove. But the situation in the Persian Gulf has not eased. On Saturday, Trump announced further sanctions against Iran and said military action was still possible.

At this rate, it is only a matter of time before new war breaks out in the region. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said it was the US that was provoking Iran and growing risks of miscalculation could lead to a world war. This is his opinion as a bystander on the right and wrong, and also reflects the general concern of the international community about the tension.

Leaders on both sides have repeatedly said they do not want war. But what the US is doing is pushing the Middle East closer to war. First, the US abruptly pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, despite opposition from all sides, bringing an already defused situation back to a state of tension. Then the US imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran. Now, the US is sending warships to the Persian Gulf, where military drones have been flying intensively. This is all about putting Iran in a corner.

The US sanctions against Iran are a kind of stifling and a brutal crackdown on the basic wellbeing of its people. Moreover, the US has imposed tough conditions on Iran that involve changing its basic national course, not just preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Those demands cannot be achieved by sanctions and increase Iran's economic difficulties. Unless the US destroys the Iranian regime and subverts Iran culturally, the demands are unrealistic.

From the attack on an oil tanker to the shooting down of the US Global Hawk drone by Iran, there has been a flurry of incidents in the Persian Gulf in just two weeks. Arguably, this is the inevitable result of the buildup of tensions in the region. At this point, the US undoubtedly is primarily responsible for it.

After Trump called off the airstrikes, US national security adviser John Bolton went so far as to say that Iran should not mistake the US prudence and discretion for weakness. But who would think that the only superpower in the world is weak? Washington's inexplicable fear of being seen as soft is a particular sensitivity of hegemonists. What is worrying is that Washington does not realize that its greedy pursuit of hegemony hides an inherent danger that will cost the world and itself.

The fact that the US abandoned the Iran nuclear agreement and that none of the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council did so reflects the sentiment of the international community. Iran has not completely pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement, which leaves some flexibility, and the international community is actively mediating.

But the answer will have to come from the people behind the deal. There is little chance of a big turnaround in the Persian Gulf if the US doesn't change its attitude. The US and Iran, as the two parties, will be the main bearers of serious consequences.

The US is powerful, but not many people believe it can really bring down Iran. There is a profound truth behind this understanding.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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