Iran’s Gambit: Force the World to Rein In Trump

In FOREIGN RELATIONS, Military and War On

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“Iran lashing out is a way for it to show the rest of the world, ‘Look, we’ve been acting in a relatively restrained manner in the year since Trump pulled out of the deal. But now we can’t,’ ” said Dina Esfandiary, a Harvard University expert on Middle Eastern security issues.

She said Tehran had settled on a “two-prong strategy of showing that they, too, can apply pressure by being a pain but also saying, ‘We’re willing to talk.’ ”

And because Iran cannot defy American might on its own, it may be hoping to coerce European and Asian nations to rein in the United States.

[On Thursday, Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone, which it says was flying over Iranian airspace.]

The result, the experts say, is an Iranian strategy, rational but risky, that increases the likelihood of the nuclear agreement’s collapse and even of outright war in the hopes of compelling the world to avert both.

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