From the very first days of his presidential campaign, it was clear that Donald Trump viewed Iran as an unequivocal threat to US interests in the Middle East. The president wasted no time in implementing his vision once elected, first threatening then following through on tearing up the Iran nuclear deal and doubling down on support for Iran’s arch-rival in Saudi Arabia.

Recent events imply new peaks in bilateral hostilities, namely the cancellation of oil import waivers for Iran’s remaining buyers and the dispatch of an aircraft carrier to the region to, in the words of national security advisor John Bolton, “send a clear message to the Iranian regime.”