Editor’s note: The map of Iranian provocations since May 2019 (see below) has been updated since the publication of this story.
President Trump called off a retaliatory strike against Iran after Iran shot down a highly sophisticated American drone flying over the Strait of Hormuz.
The president revealed that three strikes were planned against targets in Iran but before giving the U.S. military the go-ahead, the president asked the general in charge how many Iranians would be killed as a result of the strikes.
After hearing that 150 would be killed, the president decided that such a price would be too high to pay and disproportional to the destruction of an unmanned drone.
The president reiterated that not only did the U.S. currently impose crippling sanctions on Iran, but that more were coming – and the military option was still on the table for the future.
Most foreign policy experts agreed with the president, including on both sides of the political divide.
“Trump is still imposing crippling sanctions on Iran,” Michael Doran, a former White House official in the George W. Bush administration, said. “The big fight, the strategic fight, is about keeping those sanctions in place until we win on the nuclear question. Tit-for-tat over a drone is minor by comparison.”
The president emphasized that the U.S.’ problems with Iran are not about keeping the Strait of Homuz open, as the U.S. is the largest producer of oil in the world. Closing the Strait would harm China the most, as well as Japan and Indonesia.
Rather, the entire issue is about Iran not acquiring nuclear weapons – a red line for Trump.
Meanwhile, Clarion will continue to keep you informed and give you the bigger picture about the developments in the Middle East as they unfold.
Below is a map and infographic (updated since the original publication of this article) that lets you quickly see the extent and magnitude of Iranian provocations against the U.S. and our allies the last months.