With rising tensions between the US and Iran, some are beginning to wonder: are the two countries spiraling towards war? MLI Munk Senior Fellow Shuvaloy Majumdar joined Power & Politics alongside Middle East analyst Thomas Juneau to discuss the devolving situation.
According to Majumdar, Iran is largely at fault for the tensions in the region. "The last days have seen a particular escalation by asymmetric [Iranian-backed] actors who are alleged to have bombed oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz... it has created a greater sense of urgency."
Majumdar explains that Iran's actions, which are designed to encourage other countries to "come to its side," will likely backfire.
Disagreeing with Majumdar, Juneau argues that the recent flareup is largely a consequence of American action. Majumdar rebuts that there is no moral equivalency between Iran and the US. From its consistent human rights violations, to its widespread destabilizing actions throughout the region, Majumdar makes the case that Tehran is a consistent bad actor.
"There has been an attempt to have a grand bargain with Iran over the last decade or so, but it has proven to not result in better behaviour on the part of Tehran."
That being said, both Juneau and Majumdar agree that while the situation remains tense, there is still a low probability that the two countries are heading towards open conflict at this time.