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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with Health Ministry officials, in Tehran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with Health Ministry officials, in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2019 (Office of the Iranian Presidency photo via AP Images).

Iran Is Using a Strategy of Insurgency, Goading the U.S. Into Overreacting

Friday, June 28, 2019

In recent weeks, Iran has elevated its long-simmering tensions with the United States to a dangerous new level, shooting down a U.S. reconnaissance drone over the Gulf of Oman, apparently launching a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, and announcing that it will stop complying with some of the conditions in the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal that President Donald Trump earlier abandoned. Now, the U.S.-Iran standoff is dangerously close to becoming an outright confrontation.

The timing of this escalation seems perplexing. Why would Iran go out of its way to provoke the United States when Trump administration hawks like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as erstwhile American allies like Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, are pushing Trump to take a harder line? ...

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