Continetti: U.S. Is In ‘Hostage Negotiation’ With Iran Over Persian Gulf

The United States should view the current situation with Iran as a "hostage negotiation," Washington Free Beacon Editor-in-Chief Matthew Continetti said during an appearance on Fox News Monday evening.

Host Brett Baier asked Continetti how the United States should respond to increased Iranian belligerence in the Straits of Hormuz, which serves as a vital waterway for the flow of oil into and out of the Middle East.

"It seems like Iran is testing how far they can go, and the question is what happens on the U.S. side," Baier said.

"This is a hostage situation, and Iran is holding the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman hostage, and what their ransom is is sanctions relief," Continetti responded, referring to the two gulfs that flank the Straits of Hormuz.

The Gulf of Oman was the location of an attack on two tankers last week, the second attack near the straits over the past month. The United States has blamed Iran for the attacks.

"Iran wants to pressure the Europeans into providing an alternate line of financing so that the Iranian regime can weather the crushing sanctions that the Trump administration has imposed on it," Continetti continued.

The Trump administration is considering cutting off Iran's last financial lifeline to Europe which helps the country evade U.S. sanctions. The move would involve the administration sanctioning an Iranian financial body that is considered to be a front for the Central Bank of Iran, which is already under sanction by the U.S. The alternate financial body allows the regime to continue to do business with Europe without U.S. sanctions.

"It'd be a big mistake for either the Europeans or America to give in to their demands and let them win this hostage situation," Continetti concluded.