Iran was caught red-handed, again, breaking sanctions imposed by both the United States against them and the European Union against Syria. Despite using three different types of subterfuge, U.S. intelligence alerted the United Kingdom of a Iran’s attempt to smuggle oil to Syria.
Now, Iran in threatening retaliation against the United Kingdom, going so far as to say they’ll take back their oil tanker by force or that they may seize a British oil tanker as payback, according to Lucas Tomlinson.
Vice President for research and policy at Charles Koch Institute William Ruger warned against U.S. involvement in the Middle East to the point that it escalates to war with Iran. “Electorally, it doesn’t make sense to get into another endless war in the Middle East.”
He is correct, but there’s a fine line between being sensible and getting played. The lack of action by the Obama administration following Syria’s crossing of President Obama’s “red line” ended up creating the migrant crisis in Europe. One lack of action has fundamentally changed Europe for the foreseeable future, and it was totally avoidable had President Obama acted when he had the opportunity.
President Trump and the United States military are playing a very delicate game with Iran. They are irrational with their decisions and policies, but in a way they’re also very predictable. This is why the United States was able to easily determine a ship claiming to be from Panama, managed by a Singapore company, and carrying Iraqi oil was actually Iranian and headed for Syria.
The extreme military presence in the Middle East for the United States now should be enough to dissuade Tehran from getting too aggressive, but we must not take for granted that they’re to the point of being willing to do just about anything. They’re “Twelver” mentality combined with being backed into an economic corner means they may be willing to try anything.
Iran is losing steam. That makes them dangerous because they’re desperate, but as long as we keep a close eye on them and respond appropriately to the aggressive actions, we can stave off war and protect America’s interests in the region.
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