Russia’s top military boss says an attack against Iran, which the west suspects of developing nuclear weapons, could begin as early as summer.
Thus far, tensions between Tehran and the west have been confined to the battlefield of heated rhetoric. Russia’s highest ranking military officer, however, predicts it may be just a matter of time before the verbal grenades get real.
The Russian General Staff is closely watching the situation, and is not ruling out the possibility of a coordinated attack on the Islamic Republic, General Nikolai Makarov, head of the Russian General Staff, told reporters on Tuesday.
"Iran is a sore spot,” Makarov noted.“I think a decision will be made by the summer."
If Makarov is correct in his estimations, the situation in the region – overwhelmed as it is with political crises and war – could spin rapidly out of control. Indeed, some are warning that an attack on Iran could trigger a dangerous game of dominoes across the Middle East, possibly even culminating in another world war.
In the slide towards escalating violence, there have been a string of disturbing incidents, including alleged cyber attacks against Iran, as well as the downing of a sophisticated US drone, which Iran says it guided to the ground after electronically hacking into the vehicle.
Then there are the mysterious assassinations.
In January, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 31, who supervised a department at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, was killed by a car bomb in northern Tehran.
Exactly two years earlier, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics professor at Tehran University, was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded beside his car as he was about to leave for work.
Iran blamed Israeli intelligence for the killings.
In the latest ratcheting up of tensions, Israel on Monday blamed Iran for masterminding attacks against Israeli embassies in Tbilisi and New Delhi.
This game of tit-for-tat can readily explode into all-out conflict, which would be a worst-case scenario not just for the region, but for the entire world.