"If Iran Gets Directly Involved...:" Expert Warns As Gaza War Rages

Israel-Gaza War: He told NDTV that the war could trigger a wider, more devastating Middle East conflict if Iran gets directly involved in the war.

Israel-Gaza War: Ian Bremmer said that the Israel's ground invasion of Gaza is inevitable

New Delhi:

Renowned political scientist and founder of the Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer, today said that the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza is likely to get worse with the opening of more fronts.

In an exclusive interview, Ian Bremmer told NDTV that the war could trigger a wider, more devastating Middle East conflict if Iran gets directly involved in the fighting.

"It is quite possible that Hezbollah which is much more militarily capable and supported by Iran could get directly involved in the fighting," he said.

He also said that Israel's ground invasion of Gaza - which is inevitable - will have massive global implications.

"A ground war is going to happen. It is a bad idea for many reasons. It will kill enormous number of Palestinian civilians, it will be done in short order or without aid for the Palestinians to evacuate. It will lead to backlash around the world," he said.

On being asked if he expects the widening of the Israel-Palestine conflict into a regional one, Mr Bremmer said that it is not World War 3, but the idea that is stays contained within Gaza is "far too imaginary".

"It is not World War 3. The Russians and the Chinese will not get directly involved in this war. But the idea that is stays contained within Gaza is far too imaginary," he said.

"We have already seen drone strikes against US military bases and equipment in the region. We have seen some squirmish at the Northern border of Israel with Hezbollah strikes. Some small incursions could also get bigger. We have seen dozens of Palestinians get killed in the West Bank. Israeli settlers have not yet been involved in that violence but it could easily spread out," the Eurasia Group founder said.

Speaking on the economic impact of the Israel-Gaza war, Mr Bremmer said that it's "negligible" unless Iran gets involved. "The Russian invasion of Ukraine had massive economic implications. In the case of Israel, it's a tiny economy," he said.

If Iran gets directly involved in the war, that will lead to wider implications, he said. "Strikes on Iran could probably lead to a major oil crisis that will drive the world into recession," Mr Bremmer said.

He said the conflict, the second major foreign policy crisis for the Biden administration, is a huge distraction for the US. This is sort of pinning Joe Biden to leaders he does not privately like or trust - Volodymyr Zelensky and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the Palestinian group launched an unprecedented raid from the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians shot, mutilated or burned to death.

In response, Israeli bombers have levelled entire city blocks in Gaza in preparation for a ground invasion they say is coming soon. The Hamas-run health ministry said 4,137 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died in the onslaught.