The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki reports on the incredible paradox of how the United
States’ military threats towards Iran actually aids them. With Iran being the second largest exporter of oil, any signs of instability makes oil traders nervous and therefore drives up prices and puts more money in Iran’s coffers:
What really keeps the risk premium high is the American penchant for public responses to Iran’s provocations. So cooling down the martial rhetoric—even if we plan to take military action eventually—would likely bring oil prices down for a time, making Iran weaker.