Surface-to-air missiles seen beside of a portrait of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei south of Tehran, September 2005
Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters

When the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up its “maximum pressure” campaign last May, with the professed aim of driving Iran’s oil exports to zero, it didn’t take long for Tehran to respond with escalation of its own. In the months since, Iran has reportedly attacked pipelines, tankers, and one of the world’s largest oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia—prompting a spike not just in oil prices but also in worries about a new war in the Middle East. It has also repeatedly breached the original terms of the 2015 nuclear accord—known as

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