Five Lessons Learned from Iran’s Detention of U.S. Naval Crew

The risk of future miscalculations on the sea remains high. But more concerning may be what Iran has learned about the United States from the incident. Kerry’s intense diplomacy and public expression of appreciation to the Iranians for their handling of the crisis likely feeds Tehran’s perception that the White House is restrained by fears Iran will walk away from the nuclear deal if pressed. This perception is only reinforced by US hesitancy to impose new penalties for Iran’s violations of the UN missile test sanctions in October.

Should the United States fail to counter that perception, Iran will simply believe it has much freer hand to assert itself in the Gulf.

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