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Iran cuts off crude oil exports to Britain and France

 Iran's Ministry of Petroleum has stopped the sale of crude oil to Britain and France in an apparent retaliatory act for those countries' ban on Iranian oil.
Carrier hormuzEnlarge
The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its battle group have been on patrol in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has threatened to close the Strait in response to EU sanctions on the import of Iranian oil. (U.S. Navy/AFP/Getty Images)

Is the Iran oil embargo another staggering step towards war?

The EU's Iran oil embargo had been expected but that doesn't mean it won't significantly up the temperature.

Julian Borger at The Guardian has a lengthy essay on what this means and how the EU action might lead Iran to indulge in " ... harassment of the oil trade that would drive the price of crude up and keep it up, very much to Iran's benefit, but fall short of a casus belli for war. However, exercising such options requires subtlety and fine judgment on all sides and that is by no means a given. "

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