In a June 14, 2019 article in the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, the daily's editor, Ibrahim Al-Amin, addressed the prevailing concerns about a possible direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, stating that what is currently happening between the two countries is already "a war in every sense of the word." He stressed that the recent attacks on Western interests in the region were only an "initial response," far smaller than the likely future response to America's deeds, and called to "consider destroying all Western interests in Lebanon and the region." Al-Amin also noted the panic in the oil-dependent Gulf states following the recent attacks on oil facilities and tankers, assessing that such attacks will continue and grow worse. He assessed that the U.S. calls for negotiations are just a ruse intended to buy time to improve America's military readiness, and therefore that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was right in firmly refusing to negotiate.
The following are excerpts from his article:
"Those who fear a direct confrontation between the armies of Iran and the U.S. are pretending that what is happening right now is not an actual American war against Iran and against its allies and everyone who cooperates with it. The great media machine [also] insists that anything less than an [actual] military confrontation cannot be described as a war. There are two camps [in terms of the approach to such a war]:. [America's] collaborators and partners, including Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who do not want the war to remain confined to the economic and security levels, but firmly demand to shift it to the military level, in hopes of eliminating their primary enemy, Iran. The second camp includes [some Iranians and their supporters], who say that the vindictive [U.S.] sanctions and pressures can be withstood [without resorting to force] until a conflagration has occurred.
"But the truth is that, for [Iran, the side] under attack, what is currently happening is a war in every sense of the word, and this aggression must be confronted by every means... In difficult times, like the current period in the region and the world, [we] must not succumb to the pressure of Western threats to move to the military level of war. Rather, we must act with full force to confront every kind of war, on every level. This does not necessarily mean that we are headed for a military war, but it would be naïve not to realize that the blows being delivered to the interests of the West and its allies in the region are [only] an initial response [by Iran and its allies], and do not reflect even the minimal response that is likely to [be triggered by] the actions of the greatest of tyrants [i.e., Trump]...
"The rationale of a comprehensive confrontation requires considering [the option of[ destroying all Western interests in our country and the region and severing all ties with the West and its supporters in our country. Let them, and all their inventions, laws and sciences, go to hell. History did not begin with them and the world will not end when they disappear. The barefoot [people] of Yemen, who are killed a thousand times every day, create equations and [devise] the most advanced means to confront the criminal [rulers] in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi and their Western supporters. The same happened with Cuba, [North] Korea and Iran, who teach [us] that there is no need to surrender [to the West] and that life is possible, even if very difficult, [without succumbing to it]. Venezuela also shows that the U.S. is a mighty power, but [succumbing to it] is not an inevitable fate.
"All the countries that depend on oil revenues, and especially the Gulf states, are panicking over the possibility that the attacks on the mechanisms for oil production, pumping and shipping will expand, a possibility that will grow likelier as long as the American-Saudi aggression continues against the peoples and countries of the region who oppose the [American-Saudi] policy... The American enemy, and its agents among the countries of the region, have created a climate suitable for every act of retaliation... and as long as this climate persists, we may expect further and perhaps worse [retaliatory measures].
"The very act of negotiating with the enemy means surrender. The climate of escalation was created by the enemy, so let nobody condemn us for responding. The policy of the U.S. and the West must be understood in this context. They are continuing the direct war in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine and Libya and the acts of destruction in all rival countries, while acting to destabilize semi-independent countries like Sudan, Algeria and Tunisia. They continue the unilateral measures to prevent any food or medicines from reaching [various] countries, peoples and organizations. They also continue to exert pressure, by every means, in order to force us to surrender, [while] flaunting other [means of pressure] and occasionally brandishing their weapons and warning of a terrible catastrophe.
"When these actions fail to achieve their political objective, they start employing the tricks of negotiation, dialogue, and so on. [They do this] knowing that it is only a ruse intended to buy [them] time to improve their military readiness in order to ensure that the war will be profitable. If there are weak people among us who, when pressured, agree to negotiations that postpone or prevent a [military] confrontation, then there are also those among us who reject the option [of negotiation] and explicitly say 'no,' as the leader of the resistance axis, Ali Khamenei, did yesterday [June 13] when he told the American hegemony: 'We do not consider ourselves to be in a situation of sending or receiving messages from the primary enemy of the world'...
"The world of false Western diplomacy considers Iran's positions instrumental [and designed to serve as a basis] for negotiation, disregarding the fact that Iran [now] operates on [the assumption that] it made a mistake when it agreed to negotiate with the U.S. and its Western allies in the past. Imam Khamenei's current statements are intended to remind his enemies, more than his friends, that this mistake will not be repeated.
"What about the sanctions? The actions of the insane West, led by the U.S., have a detrimental effect on the lives of most of the people around the world. What the countries of evil are doing today has a negative effect on millions of people worldwide. Nobody is saying that these oppressed people are having an easy time. But history shows, without a doubt, that in situations of struggle for freedom and independence, peoples do not balk at paying the immediate price...
"What is happening today has [only] one label: it is a war, and whoever puts off joining the fray will eventually find himself facing a larger threat."
 Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), June 14, 2019.