Trump must do everything possible to avoid war with Iran: National Interest

April 21, 2020 - 19:3

TEHRAN — In an article published on the National Interest, David Axe argued that U.S. President Donald Trump must do everything possible to avoid war with Iran.

The following is an excerpt of the article:

There’s still time to avoid a major conflict. But that would require Iranian and American leaders to do some stock-taking and get us off the road to war.

Jim Krane, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, wrote for Forbes in the summer of 2019 that Iran and the United States were “staggering toward war”.

Four years ago, Tehran suspended uranium enrichment in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. Trump reimposed many of those sanctions.

There’s no question Iran abided by nuclear deal

There is no question that Iran abided by the commitments it made in 2015. It opened its nuclear sites to inspection, dismantled most of its centrifuges, handed its uranium stocks to Russia, and even poured concrete into the reactor core that might have given it weapons-grade plutonium.

Sure enough, Iran is expected to announce an increase in its stockpile of uranium above what the 2015 deal allowed.

“Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said that within days it expects that the country will have produced and kept in its stockpiles more low-enriched uranium — the sort used to fuel power plants — than allowed by the 2015 deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from last year,” The New York Times reported on June 17, 2019.

“Is there anything the Trump administration can do to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran?” Krane asked.

War also could block the Strait of Hormuz, with potentially devastating consequences.

“An interstate war in the (Persian) Gulf would leave the Strait of Hormuz partially shut,” Krane warned.

It would halt at least four million barrels per day of exports, perhaps double that amount.

The outage could last from a month to a year and a half.

Ravaged oil markets could be worse off than we imagined.

We hadn’t considered that Houthi rebels in Yemen might simultaneously send drones to attack and shut Saudi Arabia’s east-west pipeline, which allows the kingdom to export five million barrels per day via the Red Sea, avoiding the Strait of Hormuz.

There’s still time to avoid a major conflict, Krane wrote. But that would require Iranian and American leaders to “do some stock-taking and get us off the road to war.”

MH/PA

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