A lot of Americans breathed a sigh of relief after the recent attack on a U.S. drone by Iranian missiles. The world expected a swift counterattack by President Trump, perhaps in the form of a cruise missile aimed at the Iranian command center that conducted the attack on the drone. This could easily have escalated into a full-scale war that would have closed the Straits of Hormuz to vital shipments of oil.
The counterattack never came. Instead, Trump warned Iran not to attack again and left the door open to negotiations on Iran’s nuclear enrichment and weapons development programs. It seemed a war had been averted.
In fact, the U.S. is in a full-scale war with Iran today. But it’s not a shooting war… it’s a financial war. As this article explains, the U.S. has been engaged in a fierce financial war with Iran since 2017 when Trump tore up Obama’s Iran deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) and started a campaign of “maximum pressure” on the economic front.
Iran has been excluded from dollar payments systems and the U.S. is enforcing an embargo on Iranian oil exports. The U.S. has told foreign banks if they do business in Iran, they will be excluded from business in the U.S. (including access to the dollar payment system) and severely penalized. Iran is experiencing a severe cash shortage, inflation approaching 50%, a scarcity of imported goods and a collapsing economy.
Sooner rather than later, this economic pain will turn into social unrest and demonstrations against the regime. The truth is that Trump does not have to fire missiles. He just has to wait. The Iranian state is collapsing from within.
In the meantime, higher world oil prices are a natural result of the embargo on Iran’s oil exports.
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