Iran will be more likely to cooperate if it can’t convince others that an attack will cause global havoc. Iran wants the US and others to believe that the Middle East will go up in flames if it’s attacked and that oil prices will skyrocket and remain high, undermining the world economy.
That’s not likely, however, and we shouldn’t buy into Iran’s histrionics. Among other stabilizing factors, the Saudis are committed to making up for lost oil from Iran in the event of conflict, and the member nations of the International Energy Agency hold plenty of oil reserves to meet demand. [Editor's note: A previous version incorrectly named the energy agency.]