Since the early Saturday attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities talk of war has been on the table, especially given President Trump’s initial “locked and loaded” threat – however, Trump has since walked back his bravado and has instead announced new sanctions.
“I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
The president’s announcement of new sanctions is the clearest indicator yet he’s holding onto alternatives to war, this despite claims by the Saudi defense ministry spokesman stating that the strikes on its oil infrastructure were “unquestionably” sponsored by Iran. Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy to bring Iran to its knees appears to have failed, with maximum pressure having now shifted on allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a president up for re-election who wants to avoid getting embroiled in a predictable conflict he created by pulling the US out of the nuclear deal.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
— Assal Rad (@AssalRad) September 18, 2019
If "leverage" can be expressed by the delta between the costs Iran imposes on the US and its partners and the costs the US imposes on Iran, Trump has a big problem.
Iranian escalation is increasing costs exponentially, while Trump's sanctions add diminishing marginal costs. https://t.co/gFUdGbbXLD
— Esfandyar Batmanghelidj (@yarbatman) September 18, 2019
The US has 12 steps Iran must take to end maximum pressure, amounting to total capitulation. Iran has 1 step for US: return to the nuclear deal. This should be easy but Trump let Pompeo, FDD etc give him very bad advice & now they say if he doesn't attack he is capitulating
— Jamal Abdi (@jabdi) September 18, 2019