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“Iraq is stuck in the middle of the tension between Iran and the US,” Professor of Political Science at University of Akron told ILNA.

The U.S Professor, Karl Kaltenthaler said in an exclusive interview to ILNA news agency that the consequences of attack on Lt. General Soleimani and commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis are not yet completely known.  It could lead toward momentum for negotiations between the US and Iran or it could lead to further conflict. 

“I hope it leads to enhanced diplomacy and not further bloodshed. “

He added that Iraq is stuck in the middle of the tension between Iran and the US.  For Iraq, this is unfortunate.  US forces are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government and Iran has a presence in the country too.  I know that most Iraqis do not like being in the middle of US-Iran conflict.

Asked about tensions in the Middle East are rising or not, the U.S political Professor said “Now might be a moment when those tensions can be reduced.  I believe neither side wants an escalation of tensions.”

He added that hopefully diplomatic channels can be used to arrive at a lasting understanding between the two countries so the region can become stabilized.  The most important thing is to build trust between the US and Iran.  That will be very difficult to do but there should be steps in that direction.

The political analyst pointed to U.S president recent speech after Iranian assault, and said “It very much seemed like an effort to deescalate tensions and offer a way forward toward negotiations.  Hopefully that is what will happen.”

“Clearly the Iranian government felt it had to do something to respond to the killing of Iranian commander.  I was very happy to see that the Iranian response did not seem to seek to escalate tensions.  It allowed the way forward for diplomacy.”

“I very much hope that it will be peaceful because a lot of people in the region and the world have a lot to lose if there is war between the US and Iran,” Karl Kaltenthaler confirmed.

He added that there are major differences that exist between the two countries in terms of what they want the other to do and not do. Thankfully, neither government wants a war nor that is a good basis for working toward a peaceful resolution of their differences. I am guardedly optimistic that can be accomplished.

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Middle East General Soleimani diplomatic channels negotiations between the US and Iran US-Iran conflict
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