Iran and United States of America have never been the best of friends and the tensions between these 2 countries date back to 1953 when US and Great Britain decided to oust the then democratically elected President, Mohammed Mossadegh.
Fast forward to today and a prospect war in the Middle East looks ever so likely.
So if you’ve just woken up from your deep, ignorant slumber, here’s what you need to know.
I’m not here to give you a history lesson on what has been happening between the two countries ever since 1953 so we won’t go too much back in the past.
Let’s start from 2013 when Hassan Rouhani was elected the President of Iran.
Hassan Rouhani came into power with the promise of stabilizing the country’s economy and for that, he needed the sanctions imposed on Iran to be lifted. After long and hard negotiations with the US and other world powers, the countries came to an agreement and settled on much better terms for the Islamic state.
The relation between US and Iran had never been better but then, 2016 happened and Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States.
Donald Trump came to Washington with a promise to avoid foreign military engagements and criticized the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it didn’t take him long to show the world what he’s all about.
The two countries kept on throwing jibes at each other but in 2018, President Trump pulled US out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and things took a turn for the worst.
What set the tone for a possible World War III?
In June 2019, two oil tankers were attacked and destroyed on the Strait of Hormuz for which Washington blamed Iran. Iran categorically denied any involvement in the explosions.
One week later, Iran shot down a US drone which it claim was violating the country’s airspace. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami issued a strongly worded statement, saying that they “…did not want war with any country” but they were “completely and totally ready and prepared for war.” In response, Trump tweeted, “Iran made a very big mistake.”
US responded with a show of strength
Trump administration announced the deployment of 1,000 additional troops and extra military resources in the Middle East which further aggravated the situation.
In response to the downing of the drone, US was all set to retaliate on 3 different sites but Trump called it off 10 minutes before the operation, stating, “Causing so many casualties would not have been proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”
The Killing Blow
Now on 3rd January 2020, US carried out a missile strike at the Baghdad Airport, killing the Iranian Major General of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qasem Soleimani. Qasem Soleimani was the equivalent of a sitting Vice President and Iran has taken this assassination as an attack on their sovereignty.
Iran has vowed to take harsh military actions against the killing of its Major General, stating that it will comprise of “proxy operations.”
Iran is yet to retaliate but the presence of proxy fighters and guerrilla soldiers is the main threat to Washington which it has failed to neutralize. If a war between Iran and US does happen, it won’t be a pretty sight for the whole world, not just the Middle East. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get to that.