“Dennis Ross, a former aide to president Barack Obama, said the Trump administration ‘seems to have few answers for the Iranian asymmetric responses to our pressure campaign.’

“Writing in The Washington Post last week, Mr. Ross said the U.S. pursuit of deterrence against Tehran was compromised by the reluctance of European countries to blame Iran for the tanker attacks.

“He said this was because they did not trust that Mr. Trump would not use their endorsement to launch a war.

“Mr. Trump has repeatedly said he does not want war. He said he refrained from striking Iran after an American surveillance drone was shot down because it would not have been proportional.

“But Mr. Ross said European fears of U.S. action could encourage Europe to join in providing international protection for Gulf tanker traffic that would ‘blunt Iranian sabotage without a war…’

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