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A showdown between Iran and the United States came closer on Thursday with an increasingly bellicose exchange of words over the close proximity of the two countries in troubled economic waters.

The strategically important dire straits which both countries’ presidents have found themselves in makes the possibility of conflict much more likely given the economic and political difficulties both the US and the Iranian leaderships are facing at home.

The tough language came as Iran said a US aircraft carrier entered a zone where its ships and aircraft were in the middle of a show of military might designed to shore up defences against increasingly critical domestic public opinion.

A US Defence Department spokesman for its part also made clear the US was unwavering its determination to defend its leader’s interests, with a declaration that:

Interference with the transit of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz will not be tolerated in the lead up to a presidential election when obviously having a go at the Iranians will win our President a lot of support from voters.

Other western leaders, most notably the Europeans, have been quick to express their support for the Americans in the light of the grave economic problems facing them, which they would be more than happy to distract their own public opinion away from. An EU spokesperson explained:

Most EU countries realise how important it is to give unqualified support to the US at a time when the European public are starting to realise what a complete cock-up of the economy their leaders have been making. So obviously having a war with Iran right now would be a wonderful distraction from that, not to mention the sorely-needed cash we’d be making from selling arms to both sides.

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