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Expect more desperate Iranian efforts to prompt a U.S. military response in the Persian Gulf. Trump’s sanctions have cut off 90 percent of Iran’s oil revenues. Soon Tehran’s shattered economy will be followed by more pent-up domestic unrest of the sort that Barack Obama ignored in 2009, when he felt that the continued viability of the murderous theocracy fed his bizarre dreams of enhancing a new Shiite, Persian hegemony to counterbalance the Sunni Arabs.
In contrast, America’s newfound role as the largest gas and oil producer in the world has not only lessened the importance of imported oil, whether from enemies such as Iran and Venezuela, or purported friends like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies. In a weird way, it has also turned the last half-century of oil politics upside down.