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Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power once called genocidal wars “a problem from hell.” As U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration ratchets up tensions with Iran, the world must now reckon with the prospect of a “confrontation from hell” between the two countries.

For now, both the United States and Iran say they do not want a war. Yet, step by inexorable step, they are moving onto a collision course. The U.S. has significantly stepped up its military deployment in Iran’s neighborhood, dispatching the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to warn the Iranian regime against taking any threatening actions. Iran’s leaders, meanwhile, have decried the move as psychological warfare and regard it as a provocation aimed at drawing their country into a military conflict.

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