This could have been avoided

Here we go again.  The war of words between the U.S. and Iran just got a bit more heated.  Iran has announced that they could block off oil shipments in the Strait of Hormuz if the West applies sanctions to its oil industry.  The U.S. shot straight back with this

“Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations: any disruption will not be tolerated,”

“…always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.”

This was a response from US Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Lt Rebecca Rebarich, as quoted in The Guardian.  As Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor point out though, closing the Strait is doable but not easy.

All the same this is another ridiculous instance of the total lack of tact and diplomatic nuance from the West, and in particular, the Obama administration.  We have got to talk to the Iranians.  That is the one and only way that this crisis will be solved.  What did the West expect the Iranians to do?  If anyone cut off our ability to make money through trade we would do a whole lot more than just cut off access to a trade shipping route.  Ratcheting up tensions is not going to get us anywhere.  Instead it makes it impossible politically for either side to do anything.  The regime in Iran can not back down now to the west now.  It would spell disaster and collapse of their hold on power.  And if Obama looks even the slightest bit soft of the Islamic Republic he will have to deal with being an appeaser to “terrorists”. So again we are all back to square one with how to deal with the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.  And all of this could have been avoided if the West were willing to engage the Iranians, rather than treat them like children.

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