Fri, 06/28/2019 - 16:48
'Trump can't stop war resulting from clash with Iran'
A small clash between the U.S. and Iran could spark a war, and there is nothing U.S. President Donald Trump could do to prevent it, according to an independent Turkish lawmaker. "Trump could not prevent a war if there’s some minor clash between the U.S. and Iran. Because there’s high tension in the region," Ozturk Yilmaz, a lawmaker from the eastern Ardahan province, told reporters at parliament. A U.S.-Iranian clash would produce millions of refugees, which Turkey would be obliged to take in, he warned. Turkey already hosts some 4-5 million refugees, more than any country in the world, he pointed out. The U.S. sanctions on Iran "have a large effect on Turkey's economy," he said. Because of this, Turkey should have a say on these sanctions, he added. Citing disproportionate casualties, Trump last week cancelled airstrikes in response to Iran's downing of a U.S. reconnaissance drone. Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU. The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure on Iran to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing." As part of its campaign, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, which have nosedived the Iranian economy. Attacks on six oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz have further escalated tensions. The U.S. has sought to place blame for the mysterious attacks on Iran, a charge Iranian officials staunchly deny. The strait is a vital international waterway critical to the international energy trade with roughly one-third of the world's seaborne oil transiting it, as well as about one-fifth of the world's liquefied natural gas.