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Shannon Discusses Rising Tensions in the Middle East

February 20, 2024

Senior International Policy Advisor and former U.S. Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., was featured in the NBC News article, “The U.S. and Iran say they don't want a war, but the risks are mounting as Biden readies retaliation.” The article discusses the recent killing of three American soldiers in a drone strike by Iranian militants, which marked the first time American personnel have been killed in strikes from Iran’s proxies since the start of Israel’s war in Gaza.

“The U.S. is in danger of slow-walking itself into a war with Iran,” Shannon told NBC News. Iran has been able to use its militias to challenge American and Western interests in the region, but the extent of its control over these forces is unclear. The risk of miscalculation and escalation is huge partly due to this ambiguity, Shannon said. “We’re engaging with people who have every reason to escalate with us because our attacks against them elevate them in their world,” he expressed. These Iran proxies can cast themselves as “the leading edge of resistance to U.S. presence in the region, to Israel and leading the effort on behalf of Palestinians.”

Read the full article.