Either the Trump administration is trying to goad Iran into war or a war could come by accident because of the administration’s reckless policies, but the prospect of the current tensions in the Middle East escalating into a serious conflict are now dangerously high.
This week, four commercial tankers were reportedly sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic shipping lane for about 40 percent of the world’s oil. Saudi Arabia also reported that drones attacked an oil pipeline, possibly by Iranian-supported Houthis. Both incidents ratcheted up tensions as anonymous American officials in the press pointed to Iran as the perpetrator. Tehran has denied this.
Additionally, during a meeting with European foreign ministers in Brussels, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly shared reports of escalating Iranian threats in the Middle East. On Wednesday, the State Department announced that it was pulling nonessential staff from Iraq, citing unspecified Iranian threats. This came after increased American sanctions against Iran and the movement of an American aircraft carrier and B-52s to the Persian Gulf. With Iran threatening to step back from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration leaked plans to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if war is to come.