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Growing risk of Middle East war, as USA exits Iran nuclear deal, – Iran Israel strikes

Iran-Israel strikes show risk of Middle East war is growing after US exit from nuclear deal, CNBC, 11 May 18 

  • The U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal threatens to inflame tensions in the Middle East and heighten the risk of open conflict among regional powers, analysts say.
  • Israel launched an attack on Iran’s positions in Syria on Thursday, following an earlier strike by Iranian forces on the Golan Heights in retaliation for earlier Israeli strikes.
  • A long-standing fear is that open military conflict among the Middle East’s dominant players will devolve into a regionwide conflict that drags global powers into war.

A series of rocket exchanges between Iran and Israel along the Syrian border on Thursday may confirm what many feared: The U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal will inflame regional rivalries and heighten the risk of open conflict in the Middle East.

Israel launched a deadly attack on Iranian positions in Syria on Thursday, responding to an earlier rocket attack by Iran’s forces on the Golan Heights, a border area Israel captured from Syria in 1967. Iran’s attack itself followed several strikes by Israel on its bases in Syria, where the Iranians are supporting President Bashar Assad in the nation’s long-burning civil war.

The earlier Israeli strikes came both before and after President Donald Trump announced he is withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and restoring wide-ranging sanctions aimed at crippling the Iranian economy. Thursday’s rocket exchange came just two days after Trump’s announcement.

Middle East watchers warn that Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal emboldens Israel and Saudi Arabia to take a more aggressive stance against Iranian forces and proxies in the region. They say it also marginalizes Iran’s political moderates like President Hassan Rouhani and emboldens the nation’s hard-line conservatives and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite military organization loyal to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“US withdrawal from the JCPOA could shift the balance of power among the Iranian leadership from those who want to keep the deal operational to hardline elements more willing to risk escalation by strengthening support for regional proxies, and who favour economic self-sufficiency and opposed President Rouhani’s push for greater engagement with the West,” ratings agency Fitch said Thursday, referring to the deal by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The long-standing fear is that open military conflict among the Middle East’s dominant players will devolve into a regionwide conflict that drags global powers like the United States and Russia into war. It could also choke off oil supplies from the world’s largest energy export hub. ……. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/10/risk-of-war-in-the-middle-east-grows-after-us-exit-from-nuclear-deal.html

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May 11, 2018 - Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, politics international, weapons and war

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