Iran general says chances of Gulf conflict decreasing

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Tehran- An Iranian general said on Sunday the chances of a conflict breaking out in the Gulf region have decreased, after a spate of hostile acts in the key waterway.

“At first glance, it may seem that the situation in the [Arabian] Gulf is heading towards a military conflict but when studying the situation more deeply, we see that chances for such a conflict become less probable,” said Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan.

“All countries which have interests in the region are by no means willing to see a new crisis in the Middle East,” he said, quoted by Mehr news agency.

“The military capabilities of our armed forces are to such an extent that the enemies don’t dare go for a military option against us. The Gulf is like a tinderbox and explosion of the first firecracker can lead to a huge disaster,” the general said.

Tensions between arch-enemies Iran and the United States have soared this year after Washington stepped up its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

Ships have been attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized since May after the United States withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reimposed biting sanctions against the country.

At the height of the crisis, US President Donald Trump called off airstrikes against Iran at the last minute in June after Iranian forces shot down a US drone.

AFP

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