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America versus Iran: Confrontation from hell

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CANBERRA - Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power once called genocidal wars “a problem from hell.” As U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration ratchets up tensions with Iran, the world must now reckon with the prospect of a “confrontation from hell” between the two countries.

For now, both the United States and Iran say they do not want a war. Yet, step by inexorable step, they are moving onto a collision course. The U.S. has significantly stepped up its military deployment in Iran’s neighborhood, dispatching the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to warn the Iranian regime against taking any threatening actions. Iran’s leaders, meanwhile, have decried the move as psychological warfare and regard it as a provocation aimed at drawing their country into a military conflict.

Since he took office, Trump has been relentless in his depiction of Iran as the source of all evil — including international terrorism — in the region and beyond. He has reversed his predecessor Barack Obama’s policy of engagement and is exerting maximum pressure on the Iranian regime with three objectives in mind.

First and foremost, the Trump administration wants to bring about regime change, or at least a change in the regime’s behavior. It also seeks to degrade Iran’s economy so that the country can no longer........

© The Japan Times