Iran-US tensions are reaching new heights – and neither is likely to blink

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Long-term standoff threatens to turn into crisis after alleged sabotage of two Saudi tankers

A festering four-year war, crippling sanctions, threats to maritime oil trade and a US naval battlegroup steaming for the Persian Gulf. Such developments were troubling enough, before two Saudi tankers were reportedly sabotaged off the UAE coast on Sunday – a development set to ratchet tensions between Tehran and Washington to new and combustible highs.

With Riyadh claiming significant hull damage to its ships and the UAE claiming the damage was done inside its territorial waters, what last week was a looming standoff is now a real-time crisis with potent implications for both global energy security and regional stability.

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