The Middle East region and the American foreign-policy establishment are breathing a collective sigh of relief, as President Donald Trump has dialed back U.S. threats to Iran and undercut his administration’s top hawks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. But while tensions in the Persian Gulf may appear to be getting lower as a result, the likelihood of military exchanges between the United States and Iran are actually increasing.
In fact, this simmering crisis is entering a new, more dangerous phase. With armed forces on both sides on high alert, additional American naval and aerial hardware newly arrived in theater, and Saudi Arabia having pounded the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel force in Yemen for its attack on a major Saudi oil pipeline, there remains not only the potential for an unintended clash or misfire, but also a worrying threat that misperception may lead to conflict.
Iran prides itself on being able to ascertain what American intentions are, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and numerous other high ranking Iranian officials having studied in the United States as undergraduates or postgraduates—although their overconfidence in this regard hurt them in the eleventh hour of the negotiations between Zarif and former Secretary of State John Kerry, which in the end led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or more commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal).
The Costs of Misperception
Back in 2015, Iran incorrectly believed it had the United States over a barrel in the final phase of the JCPOA negotiations. The Obama administration had made a mistake, publicly describing the ongoing negotiations with Iran as a “foreign-policy success”—causing Iran to believe that American preferences for a deal were even stronger than they were.
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
Sep 19, 2019 Comments Off on Trump Vows to Slap New Sanctions on Iran
Sep 19, 2019 Comments Off on Saudi Arabia shows ‘material evidence’ of Iranian involvement in oil attacks
Sep 18, 2019 Comments Off on Iran imprisons bookshop owner for selling Bible as crackdown on Christianity continues
Sep 18, 2019 Comments Off on Iran charges three detained Australians with spying
Sep 12, 2019 Comments Off on Trump warns Iran on uranium enrichment, but open to lifting sanctions
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Iran ‘Blue Girl’ Sahar Khodayari Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Aug 31, 2019 Comments Off on Israel asks UK to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terror organization
Aug 28, 2019 Comments Off on IDF names Iranian general as mastermind of thwarted drone attack plot
Sep 19, 2019 Comments Off on Trump Vows to Slap New Sanctions on IranTrump Vows to Slap New Sanctions on Iran Trump Vows to Slap New Sanctions on Iran The Trump administration plans new sanctions for Iran after the Saudi oil attack, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces...
Sep 19, 2019 Comments Off on Saudi Arabia shows ‘material evidence’ of Iranian involvement in oil attacksSaudi Arabia shows ‘material evidence’ of Iranian involvement in oil attacks Saudi Arabia shows ‘material evidence’ of Iranian involvement in oil attacks Saudi Arabia said it would show evidence...
Mar 27, 2019 Comments Off on U.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary GuardsU.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary Guards U.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary Guards The United States on Tuesday imposed fresh sanctions on a network of companies and people in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates it...