IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “The drumbeat of war between the United States and Iran grew louder on Friday [6-14-19] as President Donald Trump flatly rejected Tehran’s insistence that it had nothing to do with a pair of oil tanker explosions this week…The remarks are the latest instance of the Trump administration ratcheting up pressure on the Iranian regime in recent months. While the two sides have been at odds since Trump entered the Oval Office, tensions flared in April, when the U.S. designated Iran’s main military group as a terrorist organization and decided to end waivers that allowed several foreign countries to continue buying Iranian oil without facing sanctions. Since then, an escalating tit-for-tat has pushed the two sides closer to a military confrontation. The Trump administration sent warships and additional troops to the region, as Iranian leaders have themselves saber rattled, pulled back on some commitments to limit their nuclear program and rejected all U.S. demands to change their behavior. In recent days, the Trump administration has been publicly building its case against Iran.”

Caitlin Oprysko, Wesley Morgan and Nancy Cook, “Drumbeat of Iran war grows louder as Trump ratchets up pressure,” Politico, June 14, 2019 3:25 pm