TUCSON, Ariz. — Tensions are about as high as they have ever been between the United States and Iran.
"The tone of American relations has been set for the last 40 years," said University of Arizona Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Dr. Leila Hudson.
She says the recent escalation of conflict has been alarming, but says both sides are sending messages that they don't truly want to wage an all-out war.
"Each side needs to make a very forceful show of its sovereignty, its seriousness and its unwillingness to back down but neither side wants to get in a shooting war," said Dr. Hudson.
That being said, Hudson believes both countries are at a dangerous crossroads.
"Being 2 or 3 steps closer to a real shooting war, mixed messages, miscommunications, accidents, or crossed signals put us that much closer to things getting out of hand."
Hudson hopes there is a pause in escalation long enough for diplomacy to win the day.
"There is hard diplomatic work to be done, this is not a game. And it's not something that will be solved by chest thumping, escalation or God forbid an all-out shooting war."
The Islamic Center of Tucson sent us a statement: "ICT is not a political entity, but from a faith perspective, we urge parties involved in any conflict to exercise restraint for the sake of humanity. . Conflicts are quickly triggered and escalated, but they cause much tragedy and take time to contain. It is our hope that we avoid mixing any faith with International politics."