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Iranian Media And Pundits Voice Concern Over Escalating Tensions

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Iran’s recent decision to speed up its enrichment of uranium, and attacks by Tehran’s proxies across the region, have created deep concerns among Iranians.

Etemad Online in Tehran says tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated following the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA’s report about Iran’s nuclear escalation. Observers in Tehran have pointed out that the situation in the region could go dangerously out of control if there is no agreement between Tehran and Washington.

Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal, Tehran’s attempts to help its regional allies and proxy groups to attack Israel and US forces in the region has been a key factor in the escalation of tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA, Iran’s uranium enrichment was greatly curtailed but after the United States withdrew from the accord, Tehran began to increase both the quantity and quality of its enrichment.

The boost in the production of weapons-grade uranium may also pave the way for Iran’s nuclear break-away, reports say. Now, Iran has simply returned to its production level as it has been at the beginning of 2023, which means that any possible agreement between Tehran and Washington that was made since then has failed.

Meanwhile, observers in both Tehran and Washington suggest that despite these developments, Washington may still be prepared to resume the nuclear talks with Tehran although many politicians in Washington demand a tougher stance against Tehran. The resumption of the talks were initially planned for October, but the Hamas attack on Israel and the ensuing war stopped the process.

Pundit Rahman Ghahramanpour

Iranian foreign policy analyst Rahman Ghahramanpour told Didban Iran website that Iran’s involvement in attacks on navigation in the Red Sea is likely to lead to a confrontation in the long-run. However, even at the current level of escalation, the situation is likely to adversely affect Iran’s relations with other countries such as China, Russia, and some of the regional countries that still maintain close ties with Tehran.

Ghahremanpour added that the attacks by Iran’s proxies and allies on civilian shipping in the Red Sea will badly damaged its international image and foreign relations.

Meanwhile, Iran’s former diplomat in New York Kourosh Ahmadi told Entekhab News website that “With no agreement between Tehran and Washington, the situation which has been under control during the past months since the start of the war in Israel, could dangerously go out of control. 

Ahmadi added that it is not unlikely that Israel would plan an attack on Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah under such circumstances. However, Ahmadi quoted some unnamed Iranian officials as saying that the United States would not get involved in any new adventurism in an election year. According to Ahmadi, while such a presumption could be correct from some perspectives, it would remain true only if the opposing party could not accuse the incumbent government of weakness and indecisiveness in the face of foreign enemies. If the delicate balance were to be disrupted in such a case, the government might decide that foreign adventurism is its only way to preserve its status in the US domestic political scene.

Ahmadi also argued that events such as the recent US attack on the positions of Iranian proxy groups in Iraq could ruin the balance and the unwritten agreement between Tehran and Washington which was supposed to come out of meetings in Oman. He failed to mention that the US strikes were limited retaliation against more than 100 attacks by Iran’s proxies on US bases in Iraq and Syria.

However, Ahmadi reiterated that : “If there is no agreement between Iran and the United States, the situation that seemed to be under control during the past six months, will go out of control and a dangerous situation could take shape.”