Clash of Titans: Trump ready for defence if American assets attacked by Iran

The President of U.S. Donald Trump said on Saturday the States is ready to target 52 Iranian sites if Iran attacks American assets. This move comes in response to Tehran, who slammed Trump as a ‘terrorist in a suit’. He was also compared to tyrants like Hitler and Genghis, after a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.

Crux of the Matter
  • The U.S. strike on Soleimani’s convoy at Baghdad airport also killed Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Consequently, tens of thousands of people marched on Sunday in Iraq, to mourn both commanders.
  • Not surprisingly, Trump’s twitter handle showed no signs of distress over the love lost between U.S and Iran, as one of his series of tweets quoted “The USA wants no more threats!
  • He even stated that the chosen 52 Iranian sites represented the 52 Americans who were held hostage in Iran after being seized at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.
  • Asked about this ongoing war of words during an interview with Fox News, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that “the president is trying to make it clear to the Iranians that this is a very bad path for them to go down.”
  • In the meantime, A growing number of Democrats have said the Republican president’s action is bringing the United States to the brink of war. The Pentagon has declined to comment on this matter.
Curiopedia

Donald Trump, is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School. He took charge of his family’s real-estate business in 1971, renamed it The Trump Organisation, and expanded its operations from Queens and Brooklyn into Manhattan.He entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican and defeated 16 other candidates in the primaries.His political positions have been described as populist, protectionist, and nationalist. More Info

US Iran Tension Escalates as US Airstrike Kills Iranian Gen. Soleimani

In a pre-emptive action against Iran, US President Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian Military General Qasem Soleimani. Pentagon said that Soleimani was responsible for orchestrating attacks on American soldiers, diplomats, and service members in Iraq. Supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah condemned USA’s attack and said: “harsh revenge awaits the criminals“.

Crux of the Matter

Deteriorating US-Iran Ties
Tensions have been escalating between USA and Iran as Iran-backed armed forces recently launched an attack on an American embassy in Baghdad. The attack was a protest against the American attack on Kataib Hezbollah. Recently, Aramco’s fields were attacked by drones, for which US has blamed Iran. US announced to deploy troops in the Gulf region to protect it from Iranian invaders. Besides that Iran has been engulfed in anti-establishment protests on account of economic hardships faced by commons. During the protests, more than 1500 civilians are reported to have been killed by the authorities.

USA Retaliates
In what is being called as harsh retaliatory action, USA, on a green signal from Prez Trump, launched an airstrike on Baghdad International Airpot on Friday, early midnight. It killed the Quds Force Leader, Qasem Soleimani and Deputy Head of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. According to the Pentagon,” The move was a decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad that was intended to deter future Iranian attack plans.”. Pentagon has accused Soleimani and Quds Force of killing American soldiers, diplomats, and service member. It also held Soleimani responsible for the attack on December 27 that killed American contractors and Iraqi people.

Iran Warns of Harsh Revenge
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei condemned the attack and declared three-day mourning for Soleimani. Vowing to take revenge for the actions of America, Khamenei said harsh revenge awaits the criminals. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javed Zarif has called this move “an act of international terrorism” and an “extremely dangerous and foolish escalation“. Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi said that, “the assassination of Muhandis was an attack on the Iraqi state, government and people.”. Soon after, oil prices spiked amidst concerns that oil supply may be hindered by Middle East. Brent Crude Oil rose by 4.4% and touched $69.16.

Curiopedia

Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. Soleimani began his military career in the beginning of the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s. He was later involved in extraterritorial operations, providing military assistance to anti-Saddam Shia and Kurdish groups in Iraq, and later Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. In 2012, Soleimani helped bolster the Syrian government, a key Iranian ally, during the Syrian Civil War, particularly in its operations against ISIS and its offshoots. Soleimani also assisted in the command of combined Iraqi government and Shia militia forces that advanced against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014–2015. More Info

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was an Iraqi-Iranian military commander who headed the Popular Mobilisation Committee which is active against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group. The organisations he oversaw are reported to have close connections to the Quds Force, part of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was the commander of the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia, and prior to that worked with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps against the Saddam Hussein regime. Allegations of terrorism have been levelled against him over his activities in Kuwait in the 1980s. He was sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Kuwait for his involvement in 1983 Kuwait bombings. Muhandis was on the United States list of designated terrorists. More Info

USA Retaliates on Iran: Iraqi & Syrian Sites Backed by Iran Attacked

USA, in a retaliation move, attacked five sites in Iraq and Syria of Shiite-Muslim-backed Kataib Hezbollah group, killing 25 people and injuring several others. Attack on these facilities, allegedly backed by Iran, was to cripple the organisation’s capacity to demolish American troops and shelter. Iraqi Prime Minister has termed this as ‘a treacherous stab in the back‘.

Crux of the Matter
  • The retaliation of USA comes after Kataib Hezbollah (KH) bulldozed American military’s facilities and injured their army personnel.
  • Of the five targeted sites of the Shia-backed KH, three were in Iraq and two in Syria. All the sites were being used as weapon storage facilities and as control centres to carry out attacks on coalition forces fighting the IS.
  • The air-strike from the F-15 Strike Eagle jet killed at least 25 and injured several.
  • “Iraq was informed only 30 minutes prior to the attack. These strikes are like a treacherous stab in the back.” said Iraqi spokesman.
  • Prime Minister of Iraq said, “We have already confirmed our rejection of any unilateral action by coalition forces or any other forces inside Iraq. We consider it a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and a dangerous escalation that threatens the security of Iraq and the region,”.
  • The tense situation between USA and Iran has many a times culminated into drone strikes and attacks from both ends.
Curiopedia

USA – Iran Ties – Tensions between Iran and the United States escalated in May 2019, with the U.S. deploying more military assets to the Persian Gulf region after receiving intelligence reports of an alleged “campaign” by Iran and its “proxies” to threaten U.S. forces and Strait of Hormuz oil shipping. American officials pointed to threats against commercial shipping and potential attacks by militias with Iranian ties on American troops in Iraq while also citing intelligence reports that included photographs of missiles on dhows and other small boats in the Persian Gulf, supposedly put there by Iranian paramilitary forces. More Info

Development of Chabahar Port to be Accelerated: India-Iran Foreign Diplomats Meet

India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Iran, met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and discussed the expedition of development of the Chabahar Port, which is being jointly built by India, Iran and Afghanistan.

Crux of the Matter
  • Following India’s adherence to USA’s sanctions on oil imports, Iran had hinted a hindrance in the timely development of Chabahar Port.
  • A spokesperson from Washington clarified that India has an exemption in adherence for developing Chabahar Port. The U.S. Official said, “The port acts as a lifeline to Afghanistan in terms for India to be able to export humanitarian supplies and potentially helping Afghanistan diversify its export opportunities.”
  • For India, the strategic location of Chabahar Port at Sistan-Baluchistan Province of Iran will serve as a gateway for trade and improved relations with Central Asia.
  • The Port is also seen as an alternative to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which is being developed by China, in a worst-case scenario – Pakistan denying entry to India.
Curiopedia

India-Iran-Afghanistan partnership – In 2016, India signed a deal with Iran entailing $8 billion investment in Chabahar port and industries in Chabar Special Economic Zone, including an aluminium smelter and a urea making facility. At Chabahar port is being developed a transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia. India has already built a 240-km road connecting Afghanistan with Iran. Also in planning is a rail route connecting Chabahar with the India-promoted $11-billion Hajigak iron and steel mining project in central Afghanistan, as seven Indian companies in 2011 acquired rights to mine central Afghanistan’s Hajigak region, which contain Asia’s largest deposit of iron ore. The Government of India has pledged to Afghanistan to spend $2bn in developing supporting infrastructure including Chabahar to Hajigaj railway. All this will bring cargo to Bandar Abbas port and Chabahar port, and free Kabul from its dependence on Pakistan to reach the outer world, giving India access to Afghanistan and beyond to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Europe via 7,200-km-long multi-modal North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). More Info

Reports Suggest Over 100 Lives Claimed During Iran Protests

In response to the sudden increase in fuel prices, massive protests have erupted in Iran from 15th November. Around 106 protestors and few armed personnel have been killed amidst the violent protests.

Crux of the Matter
  • Iran is facing economic sanctions reimposed by the US government after it pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran.
  • Leader Of Oran, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the price increase was necessary and appropriate.
  • Iran’s security forces said protesters killed two police officers and five members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the paramilitary force.
  • The government imposed complete shutdown of the internet on 17th November to limit videos shared on social media and with news organizations outside Iran.
  • Protesters attacked, ransacked and set fire to dozens of government buildings, including religious schools and municipal offices and state-run banks.
Curiopedia

Sanctions on Iran – On 8 May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Following the U.S. withdrawal, the EU enacted an updated blocking statute on 7 August 2018 to nullify US sanctions on countries trading with Iran. The UN Security Council also in the past has passed a number of resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran, following the reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors regarding Iran’s non-compliance with its safeguards agreement and the Board’s finding that Iran’s nuclear activities raised questions within the competence of the Security Council.