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If the US doesn’t respond to Iran’s challenge, its reputation is on the line

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Fully-loaded Iranian oil tankers roam the oceans of the world and pass through strategic straits and waterways heading for two main destinations: Venezuela and China. In doing so, they are disregarding the sanctions imposed on Iran by the US and, along with the other targeted countries, are taking part in unprecedented defiance of the self-proclaimed greatest country in the world. The Trump administration in Washington, meanwhile, simply isn’t reacting at the moment, despite boasting of its own resolve and firmness. So what is going on?

From Iran’s perspective, the decision to operate tankers falls within two interrelated contexts: the first is Tehran’s insistence on breaking the embargo and overcoming US sanctions, whatever the cost, as well as its rejection of America’s starvation policy which Washington is pursuing in the name of “extreme pressure”. The second is Tehran’s conviction that Donald Trump, who is drowning under his failure to manage the coronavirus pandemic, the economic recession and unprecedented unemployment rates, appears to be a lame duck president just months before the next election; he seems to be incapable of taking........

© Middle East Monitor