World War 3 concerns were spiked in the wake of recent tensions with China over the Taiwan Strait. China sent Taiwan’s airforce scrambling more than 140 aircraft into the airspace recently. The move sparked fears of all-out war. Tensions are on the rise with the country, especially in the wake of the Aukus submarine deal between the UK, USA and Australia, designed to ensure the West is prepared in the face of China’s ever-growing submarine fleet. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide for the flashpoints where World War 3 is most likely to erupt in 2021.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog has said Iran continues to produce uranium metal.
In a report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna to UN member states, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that his inspectors had confirmed on Saturday that Iran had now produced 200 grams of uranium metal enriched up to 20 percent.
Mr Grossi previously said 3.6 grams of uranium metal had been produced at Iran’s Isfahan plant.
The worsening relations between the US and Iran is thought likely to have serious economic, political and security ramifications for the USA and its allies.
If the two nations were to engage in military conflict, Iran could opt to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which 30 percent of the world’s oil travels.
This would result in global oil prices rising and could risk the USA’s relationship with its allies.
Any outbreak of war between the USA and Iran could also see an escalation of tensions in other countries including Syria and Yemen or a rise in Iranian missile strikes targeting US troops in the Middle East.
Tensions between Iran and Israel have been frustrated for a while with low-intensity warfare raging across the Middle East as a result.
The former nation supports anti-Israel groups in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon in particular, while Israel often strikes at Iranian forces across the region.
Overall, Israel has endeavoured to create an anti-Iran coalition at a diplomatic level, while Iran has invested in cultivating ties with militias and non-state actors.
While it may be difficult to claim these nations will launch into a wider war if Iran is determined to restart its nuclear program, Israel may choose to engage in wider strikes hitting the Iranian homeland directly.
This type of assault could have wider implications as it could prove to be a threat to global oil supplies which would inevitably cause more nations to intercede.
The two nations have been embroiled in a bitter exchange in recent months, particularly recently after the Islamic Republic was implicated in the drone strike on an oil tanker, operated by Israeli-linked billionaire Eyal Ofer, off the coast of Oman.
Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, recently died in the attack.
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned of an armed response and the Israeli Prime Minister indicated his country must “act alone” against Tehran.
Tensions between the US and Turkey has heightened in recent years, initially as a result of the US providing authorisation to Turkey to clear the Syrian border of US-supported Kurds.
However, immediately afterwards, the US threatened Ankara with sanctions, causing tensions to rise.
Additionally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested he has aspirations for Turkey which could involve nuclear weapons.
As a result, the state of the US-Turkey relationship has worsened, causing fear about the subsequent impact on the NATO alliance.
President Erdogan is known for being passionate about his plan which could force Washington and Ankara to the very edge and have a result on Russia who is a neighbouring nation.
Turkish forces launched airstrikes and a ground offensive against PKK fighters in northern Iraq earlier this year.
In June, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Makhmour refugee camp in northern Iraq must be cleared of people he called Kurdish militants.
He said Turkey will clear the militants alone if the Iraqi Government does not and Turkish airstrikes killed three people at the camp.
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In the past 10 years, the relationship between India and Pakistan has worsened, bringing the countries to the brink of war.
Since the partition of British India in 1947 and the subsequent creation of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in a number of wars, conflicts and military stand-offs interspersed with periods of harmony and peace.
In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempted to reduce the autonomy of Kashmir and to change citizenship policies within the rest of India.
These steps have caused some unrest within India and highlighted the long-standing tensions between Delhi and Islamabad.
Further domestic disturbances in India and Pakistan could lead to World War 3.
While this is unlikely, it could lead to terrorist attacks internationally or in Kashmir.
Prime Minister Modi might then feel forced to bring on a more serious conflict and given China’s vicinity, and the growing relationship between Delhi and Washington could lead to more disastrous international implications.
Indian and Pakistani intelligence officials held secret talks in Dubai in January in an effort to deescalate tensions over the Kashmir region, sources claim.
The United Arab of Emirates is also reportedly helping to mediate.
Hundreds of people in Birmingham marched across the region over the Kashmiri independence pelea.
Demonstrators walked calling on India to work in accord with the United Nations over the issue and end human rights violations, demand the return of civil liberties and release political prisoners.
Fundamental tensions at the heart of the US-North Korea relationship could result in combative action.
North Korea accused US leader Joe Biden of pursuing a hostile policy against it and warned a response could leave the USA in a “very grave situation”.
The North Korean foreign ministry said diplomacy was a “spurious signboard” for the US to “cover up its hostile acts,” according to state media agency KCNA.
These incendiary comments were made after President Joe Biden delivered a policy speech to Congress earlier this month during which he discussed nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran saying they posed threats which must be addressed through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.
This was just one of the explosive comments directed at the US.
Pyongyang also blasted Washington for criticizing its human rights record and Seoul for failing to stop anti–North Korea leaflets from being sent across the border.
Speaking on the topic of North Korea, first-term US leader Mr Biden said he is seeking middle ground between former president Donald Trump’s emphasis on personal diplomacy and former president Barack Obama’s approach of conditioning engagement on North Korean concessions.
As North Korea is a nuclear power with its own complex relationship with China, it is a critical nation for US national security concerns.
The nations undertake many weapons and missile tests, small-scale military and cyber attacks with each posing a significant risk for potential escalation.
Outright threats from North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un are also a cause for concern, as he claims that North Korean weapons can now reach USA territories and even the nation’s mainland.
The sister of the North Korean leader called South Korean authorities “treacherous” over the South’s joint military exercises with the US.
Kim Yo-jong’s warning advised the actions would face greater security threats as a result.
The comments come despite a surprise thaw on the Korean peninsula, prompted by a series of personal letters between her brother and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in.
Cross-border communications between North and South Korea were resurrected last month, but were paused as tensions escalated once again.
The US-China relationship has been particularly tense in recent years.
Trade is a less essential issue for both as they continue to fight coronavirus, the rising threat in Afghanistan and other more prevalent conflicts – but each nation is continuing to clash over security issues, the hi-tech sector and ideology.
The trade war originally began after former US leader Donald trump accused China of unethical conduct.
The US and China are likely to continue to amass disproportionate weight on an international scale going forwards, particularly given both economies are fuelled in large part by technology which is a growing sector.
Both nations are disproportionately impactedby a clustering effect around technology hubs and they are predicted to gain 70 percent of the estimated $15.6 trillion in profits forecast for the tech sector by 2030 according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.