A Bumpy Ride: US-Iran Ties
Tracing back the ties between America and Iran, the heat of the moment does give nostalgia about how both the countries play the game. For USA, around World War II, Iran became the focal point in the Middle East because it bordered the Soviet Union.
The beginning of the end of good ties with the Shah of Iran started
deteriorating when, allegedly, US and UK drove out the then Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953 as he wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil sector. A covert operation was carried out through spreading apprehension among Iranians regarding the economic situation and internal conflicts. This is something that Iran has witnessed in recent. The 2019 Protests saw masses coming out to protest the economic gap and dilapidated living conditions of many.
Modern World Outlook
America’s policy toward Iran seems ambiguous after the 1953 coup. With Iran gaining weight in the geopolitical spectrum with an increase in oil supplies, the common belief that America puppeteered Iran started disintegrating. The 1979 Revolution of Iran gained traction on the grounds that Shah of Iran, Mohd. Reza Pahlavi was trying to conspire against the state. This lead to the hostage crisis, in which Iranian protestors seized US Embassy in Tehran and held hostages for 444 days. Thereafter, US imposed heavy sanctions on Iran, hurting Iran’s economic front.
Iran-Iraq-USA – A Two-on-One Handicapped Match
Iran-backed Hezbollah‘s attack on American sites and America’s retaliation in Iran-Iraq war by bombing the Sassan oil platform to neutralize Iran have added to the deterioration of the ties of US-Iran. The world condemned American strike on Iranian Airbus that killed 290 civilians. America blocked the economic growth of Iran through the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act that prohibited countries from making heavy investments in Iran.
America regarded Iran as one of the countries that were the ‘axis of evil‘. Since then, Iran accused USA of trespassing into Iranian territory by frequently sending drones to capture the nuclear development of Iran. USA has been accusing Iran of providing financial and logistical support to the Hezbollah group. In 2007, US raided the Consulate of Iran and captured several Iranian diplomats and citizens for examination of potential threat.
During Obama Reign
The Strait of Hormuz has been the pivotal point during Obama‘s leadership. Entry of US drones in the sovereign area of Iran, and Iran retaliating with firing in the Persian Gulf had escalated tensions in 2011 and 2012. Iran’s Navy Chief had threated to close the Persian Gulf. In 2019, Iran shot down American Military Surveillance drone and accused US of flying in the sovereign air space. US contended the claim.
However, diplomatic ties during the Obama period began to improve. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif began constructive conversations with American diplomats.
Iran Facing Trumpism
Donald Trump banned the entry of citizens of Iran and several other countries to protect America from terrorism. Trump also withdrew USA from Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Once again, Iran intimidated to block Strait of Hormuz. USA accused Iran of bombing Aramco’s fields. It decided to send troops and drones to secure the area. USA and Trump administration were most furious about Iran-backed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) support to militant activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2019, USA threatened to issue sanctions against any country that bought oil from Iran. US started deploying its military in the Gulf region as a recourse action plan in case Iran attacks American troops, diplomats or citizens. In June 2019, Iran once again shot down one of the USA’s Military Drones on the ground that it was violating airspace. USA continued to issue strict sanctions and deployed warfare military in Qatar. Kataib Hezbollah (KH) had attacked American military facilities and injured several military personal. In retaliation, USA bombed weapon storage sites of KH in Iraq and Syria.
USA carried out an airstrike at Baghdad Airport and killed Iran’s one of the most powerful men, Qaseem Soleimani. Iran has raised red flag and vowed severe revenge. The current spike in the ties has world countries on its toes.
Nuclear Nagging and Iran
By providing Nuclear reactor, USA supported Iran’s first Nuclear program in 1957. In 2003, USA had accused Iran of using Uraniam enrichment program to develop Nuclear weapons. As per the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), USA and many countries violated the treaty by not disarming to the extent. Whereas Iran violated the terms for inadequate reporting of nuclear material, its use, and processing.
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by Iran and the P5+1 country members. It would lift sanctions off of Iran and in return, Iran shall curb its nuclear capacity and allow UN to carry out Nuclear Facility checks in Iran. The deal was also expected to boost Iran’s economy. In 2018, Trump decided to withdraw from the JCPOA and reimpose economic sanctions.
Iran Engulfed in Protests
November 2019 witnessed Iranians protesting against the excessive petrol prices. The economic disparity in the nation had flamed the protests furthermore. Some experts account Iran’s economic dilapidation to US and other economic sanctions. However, Iranian authorities were brutal on protestors. Around 1,500 protestors died during the protests.
The small retaliatory efforts of Iran – whether to drive out American troops or to strong-arm America for oil deals, nuclear treaties, or economic support – have been met with American boulder rocks like drone attacks.