Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 June 2019

Beyond the Headlines: What’s next for America and Iran?

With neither side appearing to blink, we discuss how the Middle East avoids escalation

Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Nicholas Hawkins signals an MV-22 Osprey to land on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea. US Navy via AP
Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Nicholas Hawkins signals an MV-22 Osprey to land on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea. US Navy via AP

The US has upped the pressure on Iran and since the start of May, tensions across the Middle East have risen. Officials on both sides are publicly saying they don’t want a war but have released numerous statements warning of the devastating consequences if the other starts one.

In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in rockets and weaponised drones launched towards Saudi Arabia by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, four ships were sabotaged off the coast of the UAE, and a rocket landed in the secure Baghdad Green Zone where the US embassy is located.

Analysts are concerned that despite no one wanting war, a regional game of brinkmanship could lead to a conflict.

Iran has dozens of proxy forces across the region, from Lebanon to Yemen, and with an increase in US forces in the region being implemented there is a lot of room for mistakes.

It doesn’t appear that anyone in the region wants to see the situation spill over and several intermediaries – including Iraq and Oman – are stepping forward even if Washington and Tehran say that the time is not right for talks.

This week on Beyond the Headlines, we’re joined by The National’s Washington Correspondent Joyce Karam to discuss what’s next for the US and Iran and how do parties cool tensions when neither side appears set to talk.

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Updated: May 23, 2019 03:41 PM

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