In Focus

Could conflict between Israel and Iran trigger a third world war?

As the UN calls for de-escalation, many fear the conflict could spiral. Author and Middle East expert Dr David B Roberts looks at the likelihood of a regional war tipping over into something much bigger...

Tuesday 16 April 2024 11:47 BST
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Demonstrators wave Iran’s flag as they gather in front of the British embassy in Tehran
Demonstrators wave Iran’s flag as they gather in front of the British embassy in Tehran (AFP/Getty)

The Middle East is heating up. Fears are growing of an increasing spiral of conflict, principally between Israel and Iran, which is already sucking in other regional states as well as international actors like the UK and the US.

The immediate backdrop here is the brutal 7 October Hamas attack on Israel, which killed over 1,000 people and included the taking of hundreds of hostages. Israel swiftly responded with a full-on assault on Gaza, which has killed many thousands more and destroyed swathes of infrastructure.

Iran has long been a key funder of Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, the terrorist group/political party in Lebanon that has engaged in multiple skirmishes and conflicts.

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