University of Notre Dame Professor of Islamic Studies Ebrahim Moosa offers the following comments on the ongoing tension between the U.S. and Iran as a result of the attack on the Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
“The reluctance or ambivalence of President Donald Trump to attack Iran over the recent missile attacks on Saudi refineries is sound. Administration and media sources accuse Iran without evidence and confirmation of proof. We are falling into the trap of the Iraq invasion 2.0. The Houthis, a Yemeni group locked in a war with Saudi Arabia, have claimed responsibility and until there is unmolested evidence of Iranian guilt then attacking Iran or plans to do so are premature. Iran showed good faith with the West and the USA and froze its plans to develop a nuclear weapon. Since the US unilaterally backed out of the agreement and imposed sanctions, Iran was painted into a corner. Every sovereign country has a right to defend itself in a hostile environment especially with US and Saudi plans to effect regime change in Tehran. It is time to de-escalate the crisis. The US should snap back into complying to the nuclear agreement on the condition that Iran returns to the negotiating table. From the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatullah Khamanei, the foreign minister Jawad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani have all indicated a willingness to talk to the US, provided the US backs off from its hostile position, starting with a resumption of the Obama-era agreement. President Trump as the renowned dealmaker should take the initiative and have a meeting with President Rouhani in New York next week as a first step towards de-escalation.”
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