US, Iran Prepare for New Escalation in Iraq, With Coronavirus Likely to Play a Role

US commander says COVID-19 makes Iran 'more dangerous'

Two of the nations hardest hit by coronavirus, the United States and Iran, seem to be constantly on the verge of military escalation against one another, and after multiple previous flareups already this year, both sides seem to be prepared for a new, imminent crisis.

Over the past two weeks, the US has been reported to be planning a military offensive in Iraq to wipe out militias that the US believes to be aligned with Iran. President Trump also claimed this week that Iran was plotting a “sneak attack.”

Iran has denied this, and after previous reports that the US sees Iran as too busy with the coronavirus to start any fights, Centcom Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie argues it is actually making Iran “more dangerous,” while analysts are saying that both nations may be more inclined to escalate with the virus serving as political cover.

Iraq has been opposed to any such fighting, and has been very vocal about not wanting the US and Iran to fight a proxy war, and if they must, they definitely don’t want Iraq to serve as the battleground. So far, Iraq’s objections seem to be ignored.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.