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Tags: iran | hamas | nato | middle east

Former NATO Commander: US, Iran Tensions Building

By    |   Friday, 27 October 2023 06:48 PM EDT

Retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, a former NATO supreme allied commander, warned Friday of a "ladder of escalation" between the United States and Iran.

Appearing on MSNBC, Stavridis said that while he thinks "the chances of an Iran-U.S. direct conflict as quite low," there remains a 10% chance.

"That's still uncomfortably high, and what we need to worry about is that ladder of escalation," Stavridis said. "Iran hits us; we hit them back; they hit us a little harder. All of a sudden, Hezbollah gets into this and starts moving missiles toward Israel.

"You can see that ladder of escalation overtaking the better instincts, if you will, on both sides. So, worrisome. I don't think that's where we're headed. But [we] want to keep a 'weather eye on,' as we say in the Navy."

Stavridis' caution was tempered by his insistence that neither the Biden administration, heading into an election year, nor the Iranian mullahs, whose economy is "in poor shape," actually want a wider conflict.

"I think the fundamentals here are quite against a wide escalation," he said.

His comments in the backdrop of at least 13 attacks against U.S. forces between Oct. 17 and Oct. 24, which are believed to have been carried out by Iranian proxy militias in Iraq and Syria.

While there is no direct evidence that Iran ordered the attacks, senior Department of Defense officials said all of the recent targets have "Iranian fingerprints all over it."

"It's been well-documented, and you've heard U.S. officials across the podiums as well as policy leaders for years talk about Iran's funding, equipping, guidance, and direction to partners and proxies across the region," one official said.

"That includes Lebanese Hezbollah, militia groups in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Houthis in Yemen. So I think it's fair to say when you see this uptick in activity and attacks by many of these groups, there's Iranian fingerprints all over it," the official added.

The 13 attacks are also hypothesized to be related to Israel's planned ground incursion on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, a retaliation for the terrorist group's deadly attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Hamas, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal citing some of the group's own officials, is both funded and operated by Iran.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, a former NATO supreme allied commander, warned Friday of a "ladder of escalation" between the United States and Iran.
iran, hamas, nato, middle east
383
2023-48-27
Friday, 27 October 2023 06:48 PM
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