U.S.-Iran tension has implications for Canadian troops in Iraq: analysts

news-update

Analysts say the escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf between Iran and the United States have implications for the safety of Canadian troops in Iraq.

Rob Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group, says Iran has three options for striking back at the U.S. in the current dispute.

Iran could threaten to escalate its nuclear program, prevent the transport of foreign oil shipments in its neighbourhood and target U.S. forces or its allies in the region.

Bessma Momani, a University of Waterloo analyst of the Middle East, says Canadian troops are also at risk.

Canada has about 850 military personnel in the region and it holds the leadership of a NATO training mission for Iraqi forces, but Iranian-backed Shia Muslim militias are also on the ground.

The U.S.-Iran tensions reached new heights on the weekend when Tehran announced it had begun enriching uranium beyond the level allowed by the 2015 nuclear agreement it struck with world powers designed to prevent it from developing atomic weapons.