According to the Times of London, “US forces have been ordered to detain Iranian agents in Iraq” and Britain is joining a United States naval force aimed at “chang[ing] the behaviour of the Islamic regime in Tehran.” Two US aircraft carrier strike groups will be positioned in the Persian Gulf region and Patriot missile batteries will be deployed. “Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, described the build up as an evolving strategy to confront Iran’s ‘destabilising behaviour.'”
“There is a distinct possibility that the current cold war could turn hot,” [Dr Ali Ansari, an Iranian expert at the University of St Andrews] said. “This is an accidental war waiting to happen. Even with the best will in the world crises are not easily managed. Before you know it you can lose control of the situation.”
The article supports an impression of the US aligning itself against Shi’ites:
The US military build-up is seen as an attempt by Washington to ease concerns among its traditional Arab allies in the region, like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, whose leaders have spoken out repeatedly against the danger of Iran extending its influence across the Middle East.