What’s with Iran’s cat-and-mouse strategy in the Gulf? Speaking on I24 News, Clarion National Security Analyst and Shillman Fellow Ryan Mauro says Iran’s goal is to crack the coalition that is implementing crushing sanctions on them.
Iran seeks to drive up the price of oil and get the world to put pressure on the U.S. to cancel the sanctions. At the same time, they seek to make as much money as possible from the little oil they are currently able to export.
While Mauro contends that we are not headed to war, the provocations will continue up to that point or until it won’t be profitable for Iran anymore.
Watch Mauro talk about Iran’s car-and-mouse strategy:
Meanwhile, America is sending 1,000 more troops to the Middle East in response to the increasing Iranian provocations. The troops are in addition to the increased numbers sent last month when Iran began attacking the interests of American allies in the Gulf.
The Pentagon released photos proving American’s contention that the most recent attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman was the work of Iran. The images show an Iranian speedboat approaching one of the tankers to remove one of the mines that failed to explode.
“Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine,” the U.S. military said in a statement.
The attack on the tankers (one of which was of Japanese origin and attacked at the same time Japanese Prime Minister Abe was visiting Iran) followed a series of attacks on Saudi and other Gulf States’ oil assets over the past month by Iran’s proxy group in Yemen, the Houthis:
- May 12, 2019 — Explosions in the United Emirates Port of Fujairah burn seven to 10 oil tankers
- May 14, 2019 — Drone armed with explosives bomb two pumping stations in Saudi Arabia located on a strategic oil pipeline
- May 22, 2019 — Sophisticated drone hits a Saudi arms depot in Najan airport
- June 6, 2019 — A U.S. government-operated drone shot down in the region
- June 7, 2019 — Two car bombs target the Saudi city of Jeddah (home to the U.S. consulate) causing injuries
- June 12, 2019 – Cruise missile hits Abha airport outside of the Saudi city of Khamis-Mushait injuring 26, including three women and two children in the arrivals terminal. Houthis vow to hit every airport in Saudi Arabia
- June 13, 2019 – Two oil tankers struck in Gulf of Oman. Iran attempts but fails to shoot down American drone surveilling the attack
- June 14, 2019 – U.S. releases video showing Iranian special forces removing unexploded mine from damaged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman
- June 17, 2019 — Saudi forces intercept two explosives-laden drones — one targeting a civilian area in the Saudi city of Abha and the other in er Yemeni air space as it approached the kingdom
- Jun 17, 2019 – Iranian experts, along with Houthi militants, killed in failed attempt to launch a ballistic missile outside of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a
- June 16, 2019 — Saudi and U.S. air forces carry out a joint exercise over Arabian Gulf