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Gwynne Dyer: Hopefully Iran is behind tanker attacks because the alternatives are worse

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17.06.2019

The evidence is far from conclusive, but on balance Iran probably is behind the attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf last month and two more last Thursday. Those attacks carefully avoided human casualties, so if they were Iranian, what was their goal?

If it was Iran, the answer is obvious. Iran would be reminding the United States that it may be utterly outmatched militarily, but it can do great damage to the tankers that carry one-third of the world's internationally traded oil through the Strait of Hormuz.

After the U.S. tightened its sanctions last month in an attempt to destroy all of Iran's foreign trade, including the oil exports which are its economy's lifeblood, Iran declared that if it could not export its oil, no other country (in the Gulf) would be allowed to export theirs. Other economies would be hurt too.

But maybe the current pinprick attacks on tankers are just a general warning not to push Iran too hard. They would still dangerous, because people could get killed and the situation could easily spin out of control.........

© Peterborough Examiner