WHY Would IRAN StriKe?
U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly canceled negotiations with the Taliban after it attacked American troops in Afghanistan. Why did Iran, seething under tightened U.S. sanctions, put its own negotiations at risk by provoking the United States? There are a few reasonable explanations to this question, which, ironically, seem to be in response to U.S. sanctions.
After the United States withdrew from former-President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, the Trump administration sanctioned Iran, threatening to cripple their economy. With their commercial industries under attack, Iranian President Rouhani needed a show of strength utilizing their last available option: military force. And, there was no better nation to target than Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter in the world. This move did two important things for Iran. Most importantly, it was a show of strength in a time when their nation seemed to be economically crumbling and playing defense. Furthermore, they exposed the volatility of the top oil exporting country in the world. After the attacks, the average increase in gas prices within the United States neared 15-20%. Under U.S. sanctions, Iranian oil may not be exported to other nations. Thus, when Iran conducted their drone strike, countries that imported oil from Saudi Arabia might be more inclined to switch to Iranian oil, both strengthening Iran's economy while indirectly protesting U.S. sanctions.