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US sending troops to Middle East to push Iran towards compromise - expert

In case of an armed confrontation, in his words, Iran can incur serious damage to the United States’ Middle East allies

MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. The United States is seeking to demonstrate Iran its readiness for an armed confrontation by sending additional forces to the Gulf zone but, as a matter of fact, it hardly ever wants a conflict, a Russian expert told TASS on Sunday.

"First of all, it should be noted that the American contingent is not as strong as the United States announced. It is not about thousands of soldiers, it is probably about several hundreds. It is comprised of special units meant to reinforce the US presence in the region and show Iran that the United States is seriously ready for combat operations," said Boris Dolgov of the Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies. "As for the probability of an armed conflict, I think this crisis will be resolved by diplomatic means, through a compromise."

US President Donald Trump, according to the expert, "is trying to us his favorite tactics of combining pressure on the opponent with a subsequent compromise offer." But in this case, Washington has to proportion its actions with the positions of its allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Israel, he noted.

The expert recalled that after Washington had accused Teheran of organizing attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the Iranian leadership said immediately it was ready for a "total war" against both the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In case of an armed confrontation, in his words, Iran can incur serious damage to the United States’ Middle East allies. "Iran has both air forces and ballistic missiles, although not that strong as the United States’ or Israel’s," Dolgov said, adding that apart from that Iran can use subversive groups and militants from Hezbollah and other allied groups.

"These groups also have missiles, although improvised, but in case of an attack by these groups and subversive actions in Israel, a small countries in terms of its area, the consequences might be very serious," the expert warned.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Friday the United States was deploying additional troops and missile defenses in the Middle East amid tensions with Iran and following the attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, he assured that Washington was not seeking a military confrontation with Iran, but will be ready for any developments.