NO. 31


The Middle East Situation

The US has abruptly raised the stakes in the Gulf by extending its navalprotection to all neutral shipping rather than to US-flag vessels only. Despiteprotestations of neutrality from Washington, the effect of this decision willclearly be to Iran's disadvantage in the shipping war, although the extent offurther US involvement will obviously depend on how - and perhaps where - Iranreacts. In Lebanon the Israelis staged a lightning rerun of the...