As Trump escalates pressure, experts fear Iran will strike back
Added 05-14-19 09:11:02am EST - “The Trump administration's strategy of ratcheting up diplomatic, financial and military pressure on Iran is increasing the likelihood that Tehran will use its proxy forces to strike U.S. targets abroad, according to several former…” - News.yahoo.com
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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s strategy of ratcheting up diplomatic, financial and military pressure on Iran is increasing the likelihood that Tehran will use its proxy forces to strike U.S. targets abroad, according to several former intelligence officials.
Since withdrawing a year ago from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, the Trump administration has tried to block Iran’s ability to export oil, designated the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization and, on May 5, announced it was hastening the deployment of a Navy carrier strike group to the Middle East to deter any possible attack by Iran on the United States or its allies. Most recently, on May 8, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s aluminum, copper, iron and steel sectors.
Now, Iran may be preparing to strike back. The United Arab Emirates announced that four ships had been sabotaged May 12 off its coast near the Strait of Hormuz, the body of water that connects the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean and through which passes roughly one-fifth of the oil traded globally. Saudi Arabia said two of the ships were Saudi tankers. Neither country detailed the nature of the sabotage or assigned blame, but Iran threatened in April to block the Strait after the United States warned countries still buying Iranian oil that they must stop or face sanctions.
“It's going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens, I can tell you that. they're not going to be happy,” Trump said Monday, in response to reports of the sabotage.
“Iran is under unprecedented financial stress because of the resumption of sanctions,” said Matthew Levitt, who served as the Treasury Department’s deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis from 2005 to 2007. “The possibility that Iran will try to respond to some of these actions is fairly high.”
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