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War with Iran ‘unavoidable’ if US sanctions continue, Iranian advisor says

Hassan Rouhani, then-President-elect of Iran, during a press conference, June 22, 2013. (Hamed Malekpour/Tasnim News Agency/Released/CC BY 4.0)
June 19, 2019

War with Iran would be “unavoidable” if President Donald Trump continues to impose sanctions on the country, an Iranian government advisor warned this week.

“If [the] American people really don’t want to go to war with Iran, the U.S. president should abandon the current course of policy in regard to sanctioning Iran. Otherwise, rising tensions automatically will drive us to an unavoidable war, sooner or later,” according to Diako Hosseini, who tweeted on Friday.

Hosseini says he is Director of the World Studies Program at the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) in Tehran, which Al Arabiya English described as “a think tank responsible for advising the Rouhani administration in Iran on foreign policy as well as internal affairs.”

According to their report, Hosseini also said, “As long as America’s economic war against Iran continues, Iran does not give any guarantees that the tools it will use to counter this economic war will be merely economic tools. If Iran’s survival becomes in danger in this [economic] war, Iran will use all the available tools to defend itself. It is not our problem if that is a cause for concern for other countries. If they are worried, they should push America to put an end to the economic war against Iran.”

Tensions with Iran have been recently heightened. A top Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander said this week that Iran has powerful ballistic missiles that are capable of attacking U.S. aircraft carriers in the region, according to Iranian state TV. And the Pentagon announced this week that 1,000 more U.S. troops would be sent to the Middle East after Iran’s “hostile behavior.”

The U.S. last week blamed Iran for an attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, a situation that has quickly escalated tensions in the region.

The Norwegian-owned Front Altair was allegedly hit by a torpedo, news outlets reported, and it was on fire in the Gulf. The Kokuka Courageous tanker also suffered damages after a “suspected attack,” according to reports.

Iran was immediately suspected of having coordinated the hits. One of the tankers was carrying Japanese goods, and Iran and Japanese officials had been meeting in Tehran at the time. The tankers were near the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most strategic, heavily trafficked waterways, where one-fifth of the world’s oil supply passes through. The attacks also took place near the location where Iran was accused of sabotaging four tankers last month.

The U.S. Navy had responded to the scene and helped evacuate the tankers.

Then, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) released video footage late Thursday of what they say are Iranians removing an unexploded mine from one of the oil tankers that was attacked.

Officials now say this video footage helps prove it.