Current Conflict with Iran
President Donald Trump recently approved an attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani outside of an airport in Iraq. The military action was unexpected, but an indication of the devolving relationship between the U.S. and Iran. Soleimani is believed to have planned attacks that killed many Americans. According to the intelligence community, the general was planning on carrying out more attacks against the U.S., which is why the president ordered his killing.
History of U.S./Iranian Relations
Relations between America and Iran went bad in 1953, when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) removed Iran’s prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, after Iran took over the oil industry. Then in 1979, the Iranian revolution took place. An Islamic movement, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, rose up to remove the country’s Shah (basically a king) from power. After the conflict was settled, the citizens of Iran voted to create the Islamic Republic of Iran, which still stands today.
Under Obama’s presidency, some believed that ties between the U.S. and Iran might improve when a nuclear deal was forged between the U.S., the European Union, and Iran. But many criticized the deal, which mandated that Tehran would not develop nuclear technology for ten years. They stated that such a deal only prolongs the inevitable: Iran becoming a nuclear power. Later, President Trump pulled the United States out of the deal, claiming that it was an ineffective way to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons.
Last year, Iran began targeting oil tankers from various nations in the Gulf of Oman after Trump reimposed sanctions on the country’s government. In June 2019, Iranian forces shot down an American military drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
Each of these incidents led up to the killing of General Soleimani, who was responsible for the deaths of over 600 American soldiers. For the time being, it appears there won’t be further military action — at least not in the near future. But the conflict between the U.S. and Iran is far from over.