How will the COVID-19 crisis impact US-Iran tensions?

Al-Monitor | : In the more than three months since it first was reported in China, the novel coronavirus has changed lives around the world dramatically. Its impact has stretched from micro-level social interactions to global functions, with many observers predicting it will effect lasting change on societies. Thus it is natural to question how it might influence the complicated rivalry between Iran and the United States.

The conflict has been more or less static since the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani by the United States and the strike targeting Iraq’s Ain al-Asad military base by Iran in response. But could the coronavirus pandemic cause tensions to boil over again, or will it keep the crisis at bay for now?

Logically speaking, there are three possible paths for this crisis: escalation, de-escalation and the status quo. In any case, one factor is vital to consider: the economic consequences of the pandemic for Iran.

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