The conflicts in Iran are very complex and can be difficult to understand because they’ve been a long time coming. 

The biggest issue that many fear with these tensions appears to be the possibility of an upcoming war. Iran has stated, “What is very clear – extremely clear – is that we are not seeking war, we do not want confrontation, we want development for our people, we want development for our region.” Meanwhile, conflict seems to be ongoing and not going away any time soon.

The Trump Administration has upheld, and continues to pursue, a “maximum pressure” policy on Iran, their nuclear deal, and their economy. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has stated that although they are not seeking war, they are increasingly irritated with the placement of troops on their border and stated: “This is basically a hostile act against Iran and I do not believe it will have any impact other than insecurity.” Zarif also stated that one of the main threats to U.S. national security is their arms sales with Middle Eastern countries. Overall, he believes that the United States is a source of instability for Iran and tension among the Middle East. It would seem that a war with Iran would be devastating for their economic growth and attempt at stability in the region.

As for the issues that this conflict creates for the United States, these are just as abundant. First and foremost, as Forbes reports, a war with Iran would be dangerously expensive. A report from the Costs of War project by Brown University believes that the conflicts in the Middle East since 9/11 have cost the U.S. approximately $5.9 trillion dollars. It’s also believed that war with Iran could lead to a larger war involving several other nations in the area, like Syria and Yemen, escalating the conflict further than most are even looking towards currently and targeting the 70,000 U.S. troops currently in the Middle East. 

Experts worry that tensions with Iran could easily lead to some kind of serious conflict besides sanctions; it could be a full war or it could be a change in oil relations affecting the whole world. In June, CNBC reported that the chance of this kind of conflict was close to 50 percent. 

Similarly, the war with Iraq was insanely devastating to Americans and citizens of Iraq alike. It changed the amount of trust that citizens of the United States have with their government, shaped the relations we have with the Middle East, and has harmed our country greatly. The problem is, these tensions with Iran sound oddly similar to the conflict that occurred before the war with Iraq started. The talk of “weapons of mass destruction” with Iraq has now turned into accusations of plans to use nuclear weapons against the United States. 

The fact is, the United States could easily be leading themselves into another large-scale conflict that could be devastating to everyone involved.