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US-Iran Standoff Is No Cause for Alarm

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Unread 05.15.19, 04:04 PM
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US-Iran Standoff Is No Cause for Alarm

On 05.15.19 07:09 AM posted by James Carafano

Iran says itís not interested in a war with the United States. The U.S. says itís not interested in a war with Iran. The only parties who are making war talk are the press and pundits who just canít help fretting about all things Trump.

Still, thereís plenty to unpack and learn from the latestround of unsettling news from the Middle East.

One reason for the war talk is that Iran is threatening tostop complying with the Iran nuclear deal, the agreement negotiated by the Obamaadministration in 2015 to curtail Tehranís nuclear program.

Critics were apoplectic when President Donald Trump withdrewfrom that deal. Iranís announcement last week got them worked up all overagain. They had convinced themselves that it was either the Iran deal or war.Now, they just assume there will be war.

But in their anger, they forgot that their support for theIran deal was largelybased on myths. Iran never stopped its destabilizing activity in the regionafter signing the agreement. The deal never improved prospects for better relationsbetween Washington and Tehran.

Still, some expressed concern over new reports of a muscular U.S. military deployment to the region, which was provoked by intelligence of an impending Iranian covert action. Those concerns made no sense. The U.S. move was intended to pre-empt escalation, not prompt it.

Finally, this week we saw reports of attacks or sabotage againstSaudi tankers and pipelines in the Persian Gulf. The facts on this latestprovocation are still in short supply. Some claim that Iran-backed Houthirebels in Yemen may be behind these malicious acts.

Still, there are many rungs in the ladder of escalation betweenwhatís happening now and waróand there are no signs either side is reallyinterested in climbing much higher.

From the U.S. perspective, the campaign to isolate andpressure the Iranian regime seems by and large to be working. Tehran isincreasingly short on cash, faces serious internal dissent, and has littleinternational support.

From Tehranís perspective, this is an inopportune time for a showdown with Washington. They would rather wait Trump out and hope to get a more pliant next president.

Still, it does serve their interest to stir the pot oftroubles, hoping to fuel a backlash against Trump that might help oust him fromoffice. But they canít press too hard. Unseating Trump isnít worth provoking awar with the United States.

What Tehran doesnít get is that if anything, Americans arelikely to appreciate Trump being tougher on Iran. Americans know Trumpdidnít start these troubles. Tehran did.

In 1978, Ayatollah Khomeini made America his enemy. Duringthat same year, Trump was a 32-year-old real estate developer in New York City.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in high school. They didnít start thisdust-up.

Seven American presidents before Trump have had to deal withIranís malicious meddling in the Middle East. Trump inherited this problemóhedidnít create it.

What this latest incident shows is that Trump is perhaps thefirst president to commit to dealing with the Iranian regime in a sustained andserious way. He is pressuring them until they stop messing with Americaís vitalinterests, and showing the willingness and resolve to do that for the long term,if thatís what it takes.

The post US-Iran Standoff Is No Cause for Alarm appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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