DU Middle East expert warns of potential Iranian war impact

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DENVER — The man who leads the University of Denver’s Center of Middle East Studies says we could be at the precipice of war with Iran.

The ball is now in President Trump’s court after an Iranian strike on a base used by American troops.

“I thought [Iran] would take more time to respond,” said Nader Hashemi, DU associate professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics.

Hashemi is surprised Iran did not rely on its old playbook of using proxy militias to attack American troops. He calls the attack very bold and robust—meant to send a clear message that Iran will not be intimidated.

“If [Trump] doesn’t respond, he’s going to look weak,” Hashemi said. “You know he likes to claim that he’s a counterpuncher.”

Hashemi says a full-scale war in the Middle East would impact Coloradans through troop deployments, higher oils prices and more radical extremism threatening the American homeland.

The Trump administration has repeatedly said Major General Soleimani posed an eminent threat to Americans– a claim many Democrats continue to question.

Iran attacked an Iraqi base used by American troops on Tuesday in response to Trump’s ordered assassination of Soleimani.