Podcast: A Trump Administration Showdown with Iran? (Not Yet.)

The USS Tempest, confronted by Iranian vessels on Sunday, in the Persian Gulf in April 2014

Some media in Iran are talking up a “showdown” between Iran and the US in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, with the Islamic Republic’s vessels pushing away an American warship which was coming to aid of a stranded fishing boat.

In fact, the incident was minor, even in comparison with periodic posturing in the Gulf by Iranian aircrafts, powerboats, and drones approaching the US Navy. But it comes in the context of Iran’s concern over new US sanctions — including on the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile testing — and the uncertainty of regional tensions, from Syria to Iraq to Yemen to Bahrain.

See Iran Daily, Sept 12: Trump Administration Considers Tougher Regional Options v. Tehran

Eric Randolph, AFP’s bureau chief in Tehran, and I spoke with Monocle 24’s The Globalist on Tuesday about the situation and the possibilities of conflict in the near-future.

Listen to discussion from 1:52:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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