President Trump seems to be using more severe sanctions as a response to the 14 September attack on two Saudi oil facilities, which he blames on Iran. It is difficult to predict whether the President might yet reverse course and opt for military action, as some of his hawkish advisers are advocating. If he decides to strike Iran, a war will engulf most of the region with untold misery and destruction.
Contrary to the belief that Trump and some of his advisers hold, the war will not be quick and surgical or end in a matter of days. Nor will Iran absorb the attacks without conducting devastating counterstrikes against its neighbours’ oil infrastructure and other strategic targets.
- It is difficult to predict how President Trump might respond to Iran, which Washington believes was behind the 14 September attack on two Saudi oil facilities.
- If President Trump decides to launch military action against Iran, it will retaliate with counterstrikes against its neighbours’ oil infrastructure and other strategic targets. The ensuing conflict will have negative consequences for the entire region.
- The socio-economic drivers of the protests that continue to occur around the region are not religious or ideological. They are economic and political in nature and will be exacerbated by further conflict.
- If he is able to avoid another war in the Middle East by establishing some sort of rapprochement with Iran, and between Riyadh and Tehran, President Trump will be on a path towards a true “Deal of the Century”.