The politics of an Iran-U.S. confrontation

Jan 7, 2020

Gamal Gasim, associate professor of area and global studies and political science at Grand Valley State University
Credit Bernadine Carey Tucker / Grand Valley State University

The tension between the United States and Iran has geopolitical experts considering the probability of an escalating conflict between the two nations.

Gamal Gasim is associate professor of global studies and political science at Grand Valley State University. He explains that while neither is interested in war, Iran’s mission is Middle East dominance at a time when President Donald Trump is withdrawing U.S. troops from the region.

“You know, as they say sometimes all politics is local. In that case, you know, they have to show to their domestic audience that they are tougher, they are all going to stand stand against the United States. So, they wil focus on soft targets, you know, they will increase, for example, the enrichment of uranium and continue their nuclear program. But I think they will know any war between Iran and the United States is not going to be, I mean, it is not a winnable war. They know that they cannot stand against the United States. You know, they cannot fight the United States. The United States still has the most powerful military on Earth. They also know President Trump is unpredictable even though I don't think President Trump is really genuinely and seriously interested in going to war against Iran. So, I think they have to please their supporters. They will focus on soft targets in the Middle East. And maybe, other foreign leaders or countries like, you know, Germany and others might intervene and help deescalate the situation here. So, we might see, you know, backdoor diplomacy but it is, even though neither the United States nor Iran is interested in basically going to war against each other, but that doesn't mean that the United States cannot be dragged into another war in the Middle East even though the chances are not that high at this moment.

Gamal Gasim you are associate professor of area and global studies and political science at Grand Valley State University.

Thank you so much thank you thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My pleasure.