The Trump administration is musing about ways to stop Iran from trading its sanctioned oil to sanctioned Venezuela.
Some US officials have advocated restraint, arguing that the US should only intervene if the Iranian shipments become a permanent fixture, according to people familiar with the matter.
Never mind that restraint will guarantee that Iranian shipments become a permanent fixture, since if these officials become ascendant, they will infect all of the administration with their timidity.
No, a perfectly fine way to halt, with considerable permanence, Iranian sales and shipments to Venezuela would be to seize the tankers, offload the cargo, and then send the tankers to the breakers. That will make even this first instance very costly to the Iranian government.
Iran has warned it will retaliate if its ships are blocked, calling it an act of “piracy.” …that interference with the oil deliveries would be met with “immediate and firm response.”
The effort would provide us with useful intelligence on Iran’s methods, capabilities, and modes of operational thinking. That wouldn’t be all bad.