US to Blame for Potential Increase in Regional Tensions

US to Blame for Potential  Increase in Regional Tensions  US to Blame for Potential  Increase in Regional Tensions

The United States would be to blame if tensions increase in the already volatile Middle East, says a former Iranian diplomat who believes that the fallout of any wrong move by Washington would engulf the entire region.  

In a talk with Sputnik, Hadi Afqahi, a Middle East  expert and former official at the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon, said the fate of the strategic Strait of Hormuz is "very sensitive".

Tensions in the vital shipping lane would definitely not be in Washington’s interest, he said, adding, "If this happens, the US would be blamed because they have come here from across the ocean and are trying to fan unrest in the strait." 

  Widespread Consequences  

Any potential confrontation between the US and Iran would not be limited to the two countries as other countries as well as extremist groups would enter the fray, Afqahi warned.

Iranian officials recently raised the possibility of blocking oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for Washington's looming sanctions against the country's oil exports set to begin in November.

A fifth of global oil passes through the key waterway from the Middle East to major global markets.

The former diplomat added that some regional oil exporters are already facing security issues and any new negative development would make a bad situation worse. 

"Saudi Arabia recently suspended oil exports through Bab-el-Mandeb," he recalled, referring to the fact that Riyadh recently halted oil shipments through the Red Sea's Bab el-Mandeb strait, one of the world's most important tanker routes, after an attack by the Houthis in Yemen on two Saudi oil tankers. 

"All this is taking place even before the new US oil embargo against Iran and the closure of the Strait of Hormuz," Afqahi was quoted as saying.

  Military Attack 

The expert maintains it is highly unlikely that the US and its allies would launch a military strike against Iran because the conditions in the region are not "feasible" for a new aggression. 

"Moreover, neither the Americans nor the European powers really believe that an attack on Iran would tame it or cut it down to size" Afqahi said. 

"The timing of any military confrontation, be it tomorrow or in 2026, is obviously of little importance. Iran is prepared, under any circumstances, to repel the aggressors even if they are numerically superior.”  

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