Short on Options, Iran Calls Trump's Bluff

MIN READSep 19, 2019 | 21:35 GMT

A satellite image from April 18, 2012, shows Abqaiq in eastern Saudi Arabia. Iran is playing a risky game by attacking oil infrastructure, but it feels it has no choice given the severity of U.S. sanctions.

(DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)

Iranian protestations of innocence notwithstanding, the arrows following last week's massive drone and missile strikes on oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia all point toward Tehran. In this, there's one key question that's on everybody's mind: What is Iran after? While Tehran's aggression has made the probability of a U.S. or Saudi military strike on Iran higher in the short term, the Islamic republic does not necessarily intend to trigger such a strike and the ramifications it would entail. On the contrary, Iran is hoping to force an end to the United States' maximum pressure campaign sooner, rather than later -- even if that requires riling up the world's superpower even further....

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