By Arden Leigh
President Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the Nuclear Deal, put into place by former president Barack Obama, has caused increasing strain on America’s relations with Iran. The Trump administration has continued to set stricter regulations on Iran’s fuel industries, damaging the country’s economy.
This has given birth to street riots in Iran and military disputes that are increasing in intensity – the most recent being the United State’s assassination of Iran’s most recognized military commander Qassam Soleimani, the controversy over a downed Ukrainian airliner, militias sieging a U.S. Embassy, and nearly a dozen attacks on U.S. bases. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has announced that the capital Tehran will cease to follow restrictions on their production of fuel in order to stockpile ingredients for nuclear weaponry.
The potential for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon would mean military action on America’s part, which has sparked a frenzy of panic and criticism both online and off for “World War III.” The assassination of Soleimani drove Iran’s government to make attacks on two Iraqi bases that were housing American troops, but did not yield any casualties. Some analysts believe this was on purpose, as to avoid a full on military confrontation with America. Currently, both governments are trying to move away from any further threats as to not let the conflict spiral out of control.
- In 2018, President Trump withdraws the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal and launches new campaign designed to force Iran into a new deal that would prevent them from having little to any regulated nuclear fuel ingredients (Obama’s deal allowed them to possess a small amount of it). In response, Iran deliberately exceeds their nuclear substance allowance in opposition.
- At the beginning of 2019, the Trump administration announces it will designate the Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. May to October of 2019, oil tankers sailing around the Strait of Hormuz sea passage are attacked by Iran, causing tension between countries who use the passage. Tankers attacked were Saudi Arabian, Japanese, Panamanian and British. The U.S. then attempts to seize an Iranian oil tanker. Street riots begin to break out in Iran in protest to the increase in oil prices and economic turmoil, and the government kills 300 people in attempts to subdue the riots.
- December 2019 Iran launched a little over thirty missiles at an Iraqi military base. An American contractor, two Iraqi servicemen, and four American servicemen were killed. In response, the U.S. launched airstrikes on the Iranian-backed militia responsible. 24 members of the militia were killed. On December 31st the militia members retaliated by breaking into the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and setting fires.
- This month, the U.S. killed Iran’s top military general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis by drone strike at a Baghdad airport. A couple days later Iran launches missiles at two Iraqi bases where American soldiers were stationed, but no casualties were reported. That same day, an (innocent) Ukrainian airliner takes off from Iran and is then shot down. No country admits to the deliberate crashing of the airliner, yet. Trump announces his administration will impose new and tougher sanctions on Iran in reaction to the missiles.
- This January 11th, Iran admitted to shooting down the civilian airliner accidentally. This has contributed to the worldwide criticism of the situation, and yielded a possible attempt for both the U.S. and Iran to step down, for now at least.