“Tehran's regional strategic depth and the complete lack of an international consensus on such a potentially disastrous adventure should dissuade Trump from going after Iran militarily”.
Mohammad Ali Shabani (analyst at Al-Monitor)
In 2016, a retired four-star general, forced out of his job by President Obama, spoke before defence and foreign policy experts. For all the dangers al-Qaeda and the Islamic State pose in the Middle East, he warned that the Iranian regime "is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace". He issued an ominous prediction: "The future is going to be ghastly". Nine months later, James Norman Mattis Defence Secretary of President Trump. Critics said Mattis' fixation with Iran, combined with the President's hostility towards Iran, leads to a replay of Iraq, with a much more "disastrous" consequences. The war of words between the US and Iran has intensified, with Mattis calling Iran "the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world", after Tehran tested mid-range ballistic missiles. Iran warned of "dark days to come" in the case of a military attack. Saeid Golkar (Chicago Council on Global Affairs): "The relationship between America and Iran is getting very dangerous. People in the Trump Administration will try to make Iran do something stupid," he said, warning of more sanctions and support for regime change. Trita Parsi (National Iranian American Council): "If you only have the ability to dial it up, but not dial it down, that is what is most worrisome right now because it could, unfortunately, lead to a military confrontation”. As member of Congress, now-CIA chief Mike Pompeo advocated bombing Iran's military facilities, calling Iranian officials "serial nuclear cheaters". As for Iran, it is "trying to be a rational actor in foreign policy", and its officials are "very careful not to give excuse" for the US to attack, said Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh, editor of Tehran-based Mehr News Agency.