In response to recent threats by the US against Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran stated it will not sit and wait for the US to do so and that it might strike first. Iran also heightened tensions by making veiled references to it potential to wreak havoc in Iraq. Iraq is well within Iran's sphere of influence and large portions of Iraqi people share ancestral ties with Iran. Since the start of the war in Iraq, the US has feared Iran meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq and the US has feared Iran's ability to attack Iraq given Iraq's (and US troops) weakened state. The Iranians are also dead-set on preventing the US to use it troops in Iraq to wield greater influence in the middle East. US or Iranian attacks could yield responses from both sides that could entangle Israel in the matter and throw the entire Gulf region into chaos.