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Mixed reactions trail continued Iran-U.S. tensions



The tensions in the Middle East, after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian military commander, have continued to generate mixed reactions from members of the international community.

It was reported that Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, were killed on Jan. 3 in an attack launched by the U.S. forces near Baghdad airport.

Some international relations experts said that the biggest impact of Soleimani’s death so far, which is the surge in oil prices, is beneficial to Nigeria.

According to a Reuters report, oil prices rose by a further two per cent on Monday, pushing Brent above $70 a barrel, as rhetoric from the U.S., Iran and Iraq fanned tensions in the Middle East after the U.S. airstrike that killed Soleimani.

Henry Ogunjewo, a University of Lagos international relations expert, said that the more bilateral relations between Iran and the U.S. broke down, the more its impact on oil prices.

“Nigeria is already benefitting from the crises because oil prices have increased and we won’t be surprised if some top officials start earning more as a result of this.

“The longer the crises linger, the more its effect on oil prices,’’ he said.

Ogunjewo added that the tensions would not necessarily lead to a Third World War, as opposed to popular opinion.

“The current issue cannot get to the point of another war until there is a counter reaction from China and Russia on the part of Iran, against the U.S.

“The frosty relationship between both countries can only affect some allies but won’t escalate because the international system would not be silly enough to drive itself to another war.’’

David Aworawo, a professor of History and Strategic Studies, said that engendered instability was an immediate consequence of the Iran-U.S. tensions.

“The extent and duration is unknown but we definitely know that it will create some level of instability in the next couple of weeks.

“Iran has threatened to attack some American facilities and the U.S. will respond by punishing Iran.

“The actions and reactions of both countries will determine the long term consequences,’’ Aworawo said.

On Sunday, U.S. President, Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions on Iraq, the second largest producer among the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), if U.S. troops were forced to withdraw from the country.

Aworawo added that if the crises dragged for a long period and affected the global economy, Nigeria would also be affected.

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