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Iran's Poking at West Heightens Risks of Military Missteps

Iran doesn't seem to want to tangle with a stronger U.S. military. Instead, Iran is poking and prodding its Western antagonists in ways apparently designed to avoid triggering war. Iran doesn't seem to want to tangle with a stronger U.S. military. Instead, Iran is poking and prodding its Western antagonists in ways apparently designed to avoid triggering war. |  Photo: WDIO-TV/File

ROBERT BURNS
Created: July 20, 2019 03:36 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Iran doesn't seem to want to tangle with a stronger U.S. military. Instead, Iran is poking and prodding its Western antagonists in ways apparently designed to avoid triggering war.

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Still, that approach holds the prospect of heightening the risk of missteps that could lead to an armed conflict with global consequences.

The pace of provocation has picked up with Iran reporting it's seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. That came after the U.S. said it destroyed an Iranian drone that had flown within threatening range of an American warship in the Strait of Hormuz.

In June the Iranians shot down a U.S. drone in the same area, prompting President Donald Trump to authorize a military strike against Iran, only to call it off at the last moment.

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ROBERT BURNS

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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