An American president committed to ending US intervention in the Middle East, an Iranian regime too poor to go to war. Then we need not worry as we look at the recent tensions over the Gulf.

Do not be fooled. The situation is dangerous and gets more dangerous every day.

Before being defended by our closest ally on Twitter, our outgoing US Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch warned that Donald Trump did not have a coherent Iran policy. It is a widespread view of European capitals.

The danger to the UK is that we are getting closer and closer to this policy.

President Trump believes that you are dealing with Iran by squeezing it where it hurts. He has torn up his side of the nuclear deal and uses every lever to bring the ayatollahs to their knees.



The Istanbul-pictured HMS Duncan was sent to the Gulf



Warship HMS Duncan on the way to the Gulf

He believes that the "maximum pressure" policy will bring them back to talks to negotiate an agreement on his terms.

His allies do not agree. They not only believe that it is the wrong way to stop Iran from building the bomb, but to achieve the opposite of what is intended.

This is because Trump's policy does not seem to have brought the Iranian regime to its knees.

Donald Trump said the military action was always on the table. against Iran.
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Donald Trump's policy seems to have encouraged Iran

Iranian officials are engaged in fighting rumors of resistance and seemingly more united, and instead of reversing their annoying behavior, they are reinforcing it.

Witness the This week, attempts were made to intercept a British tanker on the high seas,

Yes, Iran is increasingly desperate. But that makes his behavior more and more dangerous.







Explanation: Maritime coalition in the Gulf

It threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which flows a fifth of the world's oil. And it has nothing to lose, because America has made it impossible for Iran to export its oil by punishing anyone who buys it.

So far, Britain has been able to distance itself from Trump's Iran policy, but the seizure of an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar has changed all that.

The UK insists that this step is all about enforcing EU sanctions against Syria.







"War in the Middle East would be devastating"

But that's not how they see it in Tehran. For them, the British little Satan again makes the commandment of America. So British shipping is a fair game for the Iranian ambush.

And if America's "incoherent" Iran policy fails eventually, Britain will be held equally responsible for everything that will follow.