While many of the core media outlets are focusing on president Donald Trump in what seems a domestic political battle, the Middle East is now focused on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Iranian weapons program. The US is placing “maximum pressure” on Iran which is adding to the pain of a regime that cannot control its economy – note that inflation is now at 40% and Iran is seeing its clients fade for its cash product (crude oil sales). Trump is using all diplomatic means to avoid conflict and has even been praised by critiques within the Islamic regime, with the Iranian foreign minister using the word “prudence” to describe the cautious stance taken by the White House.
US economic pressure is forcing Iran to act recklessly, and this could mean trouble in the coming months.
Since April, the Trump White House as ended waivers on eight countries that allowed them to continue to buy Iranian Oil. Over the past year its currency has faded by 60% while its economy has shrunk 6% over the past year after contracting 3 percent two years ago. We are concerned that in an attempt to hold on to power, the leadership of the Islamic Republic will be forced into confrontation with the US or US allies in the region. More on this topic in the coming weeks.