Saegusa Ichi
Nov 6 · Last update 3 mo. ago.

Why did US-Iran relations get so bad?

Under the agreement formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015, Iran dismantled many of its nuclear programs. In exchange for relief from economic sanctions, international inspectors were given extensive access to the facility. In May 2018, the JCPOA covered only the Iranian nuclear program and not the ballistic missile program, so the Trump administration claimed that the agreement was temporary. President Trump left the Iran nuclear agreement in May 2018. In addition, the United States moved to clean up oil exports by imposing sanctions against Iran again. Iran not only accelerated its nuclear program, but also increased the risk of military conflict in the Persian Gulf due to the United States movement, which are the US’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and launching economic sanctions banning imports of Iranian crude oil. References cfr.org/backgrounder/what-status-iran-nuclear-agreement
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Iran’s support for terrorism across the world
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The Sanctions and siege warfare
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US pushing for the next moneymaking war for oil
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Foreign interference
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The deal prevents Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
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The Iranian Revolution and subsequent tensions
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Iran’s support for terrorism across the world

Iran’s government is widely recognised to have strong links to a number of terrorist organisations and has been accused to sponsoring terrorism internationally. The Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is thought to be responsible for intelligence, foreign operations, training militants, and even cyber-terrorism, with some of the world’s most notorious terrorist organisations known to receive material support from Iran’s government and training for their military. Iran have been involved in terrorist actions in Israel, Lebanon, Albania, Bahrain, Yemen, India, Iraq, Kenya, Argentina, France, Denmark and Thailand, funding groups like Hezbollah and Hamas that are know to target US citizens especially.

Furthermore Iran has used its diplomatic and military influence to negatively impact the region, supporting authoritarian regimes such as Assad’s Syria, while sponsoring Iraqi and Syrian Shia terrorist groups and Yemeni rebels in recent years to further push the Iranian influence in the region, but also further destabilising the Middle East. Iran continues to provide arms to groups that destabilise troubled nations such as Israel, and nations like Yemen divided by civil war, directly defying United Nations resolutions and international arms embargos. Iran's record on sponsoring terrorism is so egregious that the US designated Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organisation in their own right in 2019, with Donald Trump blaming Iran’s support of terror internationally as the cause for ramping up tensions with the country.

2009-2017.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2014/239410.htm lawfareblog.com/irans-support-terrorist-groups ncr-iran.org/en/news/terrorism-fundamentalism/26824-iran-regime-supports-terrorist-groups-around-the-world-u-s-state-dept washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/irans-support-for-terrorism-under-the-jcpoa state.gov/irans-material-support-for-terrorism

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 20
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The Sanctions and siege warfare

US-Iranian relations began to thaw somewhat when Barack Obama brokered the interim agreement of the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2013, however when Donald Trump, a critic of Obama and the Iran Deal, became president relations again became strained, with Trump pulling out of the deal in 2018. However Trump didn’t stop there, he re-imposed much harsher sanctions on Iran that had been previously imposed on the country causing a 6% contraction of Iran's economy. Critics have called accused Trump of simply wanting to undo Obama's legacy, while other have pointed out the sanctions are merely affecting the most vulnerable Iranians, and some have likened this to an economy siege.

This has made relations untenable, and the US is now attempting to extend its sanctions to all countries that buy oil from Iran, furthering the siege on the country in the hope that it will cause civil unrest. The EU, China and Russia should attempt to do more to resolve the situation, as the implications are widely seen as having a negative impact on the global economy while the escalation of this situation would further destabilise the Middle East. However, Trump's rhetoric is not being condemned strongly enough by any international government or media organisation, this is despite his common use of worrying rhetoric, ‘economic warfare’ and ‘nuclear solutions’, in essence condoning genocide.

theguardian.com/world/2018/may/08/iran-nuclear-deal-what-is-it-why-does-trump-want-to-scrap-it commondreams.org/views/2019/07/08/trumps-economic-war-iran-88-reduction-oil-exports-6-shrinkage-economy counterpunch.org/2019/03/12/how-us-sanctions-are-hurting-iran-a-firsthand-report washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-to-impose-sanctions-on-allies-in-drive-to-push-iran-oil-sales-to-zero/2019/04/22/cf9e7a93-d052-4951-b754-e1e5b068a224_story.html aljazeera.com/blogs/middleeast/2019/07/economic-impact-sanctions-iran-streets-190706190053896.html aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/iran-religious-leader-threatens-uk-capture-oil-tanker-190706091738043.html

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 20
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US pushing for the next moneymaking war for oil

The backing out of the Iran nuclear deal and the raising of tensions between Iran and the US is a result of a republican push for regime change war to secure greater control in foreign resources, most notably oil markets in the middle east. While the US has long been accused of war mongering for the sake of hydrocarbons, Trump has lifted the veil and on numerous occasions admitted this outright. Following the strike on former-ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi compound in north-eastern Syria, Trump openly admitted that the US will “keep” the oil of the region, something he reiterated in a meeting with Turkish President at a later date when he stated the US are only in Syria to “secure the oil” [1].

Likewise Trump has spoken about the US’ military industrial complex and the negative effect it has on US foreign policy. In another 2019 interview with Fox News Trump himself spoke about the military-industrial-complex and how he has been pressured to stay in conflict by “people in Washington that never want to leave" (the Middle East) [2]. Likewise and even more damning of US politicians was Trump’s revelation of pressure to assassinate Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, Trump said he felt pressured by republican senators to kill Soleimani in return for their support through his impeachment inquiry. This clearly goes against the official narrative that the US was responding to intelligence of an imminent attack despite a complete lack of evidence. There is a clear pattern of regime change war followed by US oil exploitation in the Middle East and Iran is one country that is resisting this pattern, hence the bad relations. Trump is not doing anything new here, just breaking the secrecy in US politics to not outwardly mention oil as a factor in missions in the Middle East, something that wasn’t always the case historically when European colonial powers carried out the same style of foreign policy.

[1] abcnews.go.com/Politics/keeping-oil-syria-trump-considered-war-crime/story?id=66589757 [1] youtube.com/watch?v=U10p3Tn9V5Y [2] youtu.be/vc4vYWJfJnE?t=262 nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/01/report-trump-cited-impeachment-pressure-to-kill-soleimani.html salon.com/2020/01/10/trump-privately-admits-he-killed-soleimani-under-pressure-from-upcoming-impeachment-trial-report

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 20
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Foreign interference

American-Iranian relations have been bad since the US and the UK deposed the Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953, orchestrating a coup d’état as part of Operation Ajax. The history of this operation goes back to British corporations and the UK government’s involvement in Iran’s oil industry, years of deals that benefitted Britain over Iran directly led to protests against the Shah of Iran and the formation of a constitution in 1906. This dissatisfaction and the British-owned AIOC (Anglo-Iranian Oil Company- later BP) refusal to be audited caused Iranian frustrations to mount into an assassination attempt on the Shah in 1949, the formation of a political coalition, the National Front of Iran, and the election of Mohammad Mosaddegh as Prime Minister in 1951.

Mosaddegh was an advocate of oil nationalization, and upon the AIOC's further audit refusals parliament voted to take control of Iran’s oil reserves in the same year. The British immediately responded with a boycott and economic pressures but the UK and US under Churchill and Eisenhower planed the 1953 coup, arresting Mosaddegh and giving complete political power to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Legacy of this period of colonial interference in Iran is seen as a symbol of Iran’s opposition movement, known as the Green Movement, setting the stage for the Iranian Revolution and solidifying a resistance to foreign intervention in the Iranian national consciousness.

References theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/jun/19/iran-protests-mousavi-mossadeq apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a239339.pdf history.com/this-day-in-history/cia-assisted-coup-overthrows-government-of-iran theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/cia-admits-role-1953-iranian-coup

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 16
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The deal prevents Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Former President Obama had a conference call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on September, 2013. This was the first contact between the US and Iranian leaders after the Iranian Revolution. The JCPOA, which was signed in July 2015 and went into effect the following January resulted from that meeting, and imposed restrictions on Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program. In 2009, the Obama administration was established in a conflict between the United States and Iran. Obama recognized that the Middle East is the world's energy source, and that he wanted to bring stability to the Middle East as an important region. Obama began negotiations with Iran, and in 2015, an international agreement was reached between Iran and Western countries, Russia and China, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran was to limit nuclear development significantly and, in return, the US lifted existing economic sanctions. Iran has adhered to the nuclear agreement, which the United States has admitted. The Iran nuclear agreement is said to be a major political legacy of former President Obama. Why did the Trump administration decide to leave JCPOA? The Trump administration claimed two. First, there is a time limit of 10 to 15 years for Iran's restrictions on nuclear development. After the deadline, Iran might develop nuclear weapons and there could be a crisis of arms race in the Middle East. Second, the nuclear agreement did not limit the development of ballistic missiles. And after this, Israel expressed its position to support the withdrawal of the US nuclear agreement. President Trump made Israel's security a top priority for the 2020 presidential midterm elections. As a result, it was said that there was an aim to appeal to the support layer of President Trump who is closer to Israel. References cfr.org/backgrounder/what-status-iran-nuclear-agreement washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/10/12/5-reasons-why-trump-hates-the-iran-deal nytimes.com/2019/09/04/magazine/iran-strike-israel-america.html

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Saegusa Ichi
Nov 6
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Jefferson635 edited this paragraph
Former President Obama had a conference call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on September, 2013. This was the first contact between the US and Iranian leaders after the Iranian Revolution. The JCPOA, which was signed in July 2015 and went into effect the following January resulted from that meeting, and imposed restrictions on Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program. In 2009, the Obama administration was established in a conflict between the United States and Iran. Obama recognized that the Middle East is the world's energy source, and that he wanted to bring stability to the Middle East as an important region. Obama began negotiations with Iran, and in 2015, an international agreement was reached between Iran and Western countries, Russia and China, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran was to limit nuclear development significantly and, in return, the US lifted existing economic sanctions. Iran has adhered to the nuclear agreement, which the United States has admitted. The Iran nuclear agreement is said to be a major political legacy of former President Obama. Why did the Trump administration decide to leave JCPOA? The Trump administration claimed two. First, there is a time limit of 10 to 15 years for Iran's restrictions on nuclear development. After the deadline, Iran might develop nuclear weapons and there could be a crisis of arms race in the Middle East. Second, the nuclear agreement did not limit the development of ballistic missiles. And after this, Israel expressed its position to support the withdrawal of the US nuclear agreement. President Trump made Israel's security a top priority for the 2020 presidential midterm elections. As a result, it was said that there was an aim to appeal to the support layer of President Trump who is closer to Israel. References https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-status-iran-nuclear-agreement https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/10/12/5-reasons-why-trump-hates-the-iran-deal/ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/04/magazine/iran-strike-israel-america.html

The Iranian Revolution and subsequent tensions

In May 2018, President Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement. Since then, the United States has imposed economic sanctions on Iran and countries that trade with it. In addition, the United States sends carrier attack groups and bombers to the Gulf. Oman Bay oil tankers exploded in May and June 2019, but the United States accused Iran. Iran has categorically denied responsibility for the ship attacks. The Iranian army shot down US drones in the Strait of Holmes on June 20. The United States said its flight range was on international waters, but Iran said it was on Iranian territory. Thus, the relationship between the United States and Iran has deteriorated. Tensions continue between the two countries that have great international influence. References bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24316661

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor John Bolton were stiff. Since 2018, White House former National Security Advisor John Bolton has begun warning about the growing threat posed by Iran to US interests in the Middle East. The hard-liners in the Trump administration have emerged and play an important role in the military and security fields. Therefore, in addition to economic sanctions, they are also trying to apply military pressure. Nuclear aircraft carriers and bombers are deployed around Iran. An explosion later occurred that damaged oil tankers in Oman Bay. However, according to the New York Times, the US Pentagon's chief executives warned that military responses could result in spiral escalations that pose US military risks in the Middle East. On June 13, Iran's UN delegation issued a statement stating "decisively denying" its involvement in the attack. There is still no definitive evidence to reveal the offender who attacked the tanker. Thus, the criminal is currently “unknown”. References bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48714414

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Saegusa Ichi
Nov 6
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