Two comments last week highlight the dangerous security impasse in which Iran and the U.S. find themselves. The first was from Iran’s spiritual leader, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, that maritime security will remain at risk if its oil exports continue to be compromised. The second was from U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that sanctions may be applied on any country that helps the Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1 as it makes its way back to Iran through the Mediterranean, having been released by the U.K. overseas territory of Gibraltar.
“Iran’s view is now that the U.S. will not launch the full-scale military attack that was previously expected, that the U.S. is increasingly isolated in its actions against Iran among its allies in Europe and even in the U.K.,” a senior source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry told OilPrice.com last week. “At the same time, Iran believes it can lever the U.S. back into a newly renegotiated nuclear deal involving the removal of all sanctions,” he added.
Up until a couple of months or so ago, the U.S. was actively considering a full-scale military operation against Iran and was “98 per cent ready” for such an all-out attack, according to senior political sources in Washington and London spoken to by OilPrice.com last week. “The remaining two percent involved the final movement of men and materiel into attack positions and finalising the technology and software involved,” said one. “At that point, [John] Bolton [U.S. National Security Advisor] was the dominant voice in [U.S. President Donald] Trump’s ear, and this meant moving at least 120,000 troops into position to augment the [U.S.S Abraham Lincoln aircraft] carrier group that was already in place.”
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