Friday prayers will take place across Iran today for the first time since President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal—expect anti-American sentiment to feature prominently in sermons, with marches and flag burning also likely.
The US decision to pull out of the accords could see stability in the Middle East deteriorate further. Indeed, in the two days since Trump’s decision, Iran and Israel—a fierce supporter of Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal—have already edged closer to direct conflict, after Israel retaliated to Iranian missile strikes on the Golan Heights by targeting Tehran’s forces in Syria.
With Iranian hardliners likely to encourage a more confrontational response to adversaries in response to the US withdrawal, tensions could be set to ramp up considerably. If Tehran does become more aggressive, particularly in Syria, Israel could consider a direct attack on Iranian soil, a move that would catalyse all-out war. In the meantime, however, expect today’s prayers to also feature a heavy dose of anti-Israel rhetoric.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.