THE ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Tensions between Iran and the United States have reached unprecedented heights, especially after the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord. These tensions culminated in the assassination of General Qassem Suleimani by the US in January 2020 and subsequent Iranian rocket attacks on American troops in Iraq. The risks of war between the two sides are considerable, but despite the occasional provocation, neither side is likely to initiate open hostilities. Such an attack would inflict even greater harm to the initiator’s interests. For the foreseeable future, the conflict between the two sides will remain both volatile and under-control, regulated by the imperative of interest-preservation. Barring the eruption of an accidental war, the policy line advocated by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, will likely prevail: “no peace, no war.”
Mehran Kamrava is Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of a number of journal articles and books, including, most recently, Troubled Waters: Insecurity in the Persian Gulf (Cornell University Press, 2018); Inside the Arab State (Oxford University Press, 2018); The Impossibility of Palestine: History, Geography, and the Road Ahead (Yale University Press, 2016); Qatar: Small State, Big Politics (Cornell University Press, 2015); The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War, 3rd ed. (University of California Press, 2013); and Iran’s Intellectual Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
This event is the next installment in the joint CASAR and IFI lecture series, Policy and Politics in the Americas. This collaborative initiative between the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) brings scholars, diplomats, journalists, policymakers and public intellectuals to AUB in order to promote understanding of the current political and policy landscape of the Americas.
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