Thursday, January 5, 2012

The U.S. And Iran Are Already Locked In An Economic War

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Iranian Navy commander Habibollah Sayyari points while standing on a naval ship on the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran / Reuters

Hard-hitting U.S. sanctions on Iran's central bank and new Iranian threats to attack U.S. vessels in a vital oil-shipping route underscore a little-noticed aspect of the growing tensions between Washington and Tehran: Armed conflict may not break out anytime soon, but Iran and the U.S. are already fighting a low-level economic war that seems likely to escalate in the months ahead.

Iran's apparent progress toward building both nuclear weapons and the long-range missiles capable of carrying them to targets in both Israel and Europe has prompted mounting speculation that Washington or Jerusalem will soon carry out full-scale military strikes against Iran, attacks likely to trigger a major regional more