Iran declared on Sunday, December 5, 2019, that the country would be no longer under the obligation of the 2015 nuclear deal that was signed between the Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council i.e. the US, the UK, Russia, France, and China with one plus, Germany). Under the agreement, Iran agreed to restructure its nuclear policy by reducing its nuclear facilities for the production of uranium.
US-Iran Tension Since 2018
Since 2018, the US-Iran relations have been severely affected when the US president, Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 landmark deal, which was molded during the Obama administration. The US blamed Iran for several attacks that happened from May to September 2019. The US-Iran relations turned hostile after the incident of the Persian Gulf attack in which the US blamed Iran for destroying four oil tankers in May and two tankers in June.
In June 2019, the US officials claimed, “an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down an American military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.” Iran officials responded that the US aircraft was crossing over Iran’s territory. Following the event, Washington imposed new sanctions on Tehran which aimed to cripple Iran’s economy.
The tension between the two countries intensified in September 2019 after, as the US blamed, Iran executed airstrike in many crude-processing plants in Saudi Arabia, a key US-ally in the Middle East. The attack had brought severe impacts on the Kingdom including the cutting half of the country’s oil production which led to crude prices crisis worldwide in decades. However, Iran denied the US’ allegation and maintained that Iran was not involved in the attack. The September event had renewed a new conflict in the region.
Impacts of the US-Iran Recent Tensions
The relationship between the two countries has turned into a bitter row after the US military killed Iran’s top military commander, Qasem Soleimani on an airstrike Thursday, January 2, 2019. The US government officials released a statement saying that the US took responsibility for the killing of Iran’s military general.
Following the death of Iran’s general, Trump stated on Thursday that Soleimani “was responsible for the death of innocent people his sick passion. We caught him in the act and terminated him.” Iranian Government warned for severe consequences on the death of Soleimani, who was a key leader of a special force unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.
As released in a statement Friday, The US National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien described the U.S. strike was a “straightforward decision” since O’Brien claimed that Washington perceived an intelligence regarding Iran’s plan of conducting an attack. On Friday, Trump stated that America had no intention of ‘regime change’ in Iran but the US would use necessary action if Iran continued giving threats to Americans.
Based on this recent development, the Iran government decided to lift off from the 2015 nuclear deal and announced that it would start re-developing uranium enrichment. According to a broadcast by an Iranian state-run television on Sunday, “Iran will not respect any limits established in the 2015 nuclear deal on the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges.” Other signatories of the deal including France, Germany, the UK, Russia, and China have urged Iran to keep the agreement alive, Tehran responded that its decision could be changed if Washington lifted imposing the sanction against Iran. Tehran warned that the country would start enriching uranium on a large scale if US sanctions in Iran is not lifted within two months.
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