(WP) – Judging from appearances, the United States and Iran are worryingly close to conflict. This weekend, only days after the United States dispatched warships and bombers to the Middle East to deter what it deemed Iranian threats, two Saudi oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged in apparent acts of sabotage in the Gulf. The dispute between a US administration led by a tough-talking Republican

president and an embattled but antagonistic Middle Eastern power has reminded many observers of the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a move that, in the years since, has been widely condemned as disastrous for all involved. Even some of the characters in this apparent remake are the same: John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, played a key role in President George W. Bush’s buildup to the Iraq invasion as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. READ MORE

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