There are few countries with almost zero diplomatic relationships; the United States of America and Iran is a ‘good’ example. For both countries, there have been ups, but mostly downs. With just 3 months to new sanctions against Iran coming into effect, Iran is promising to resist it while Donald Trump threatens war from his favourite podium, twitter.
Speaking with diplomats earlier in the week, President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, complained about the US move towards sanctions against his country which will include not allowing it sell a drop of Oil despite being home to 10% of the world’s oil and existing in the Persian Gulf which has 60% of the World’s Oil.
“do you think Iran is that weak? What are you thinking? You cannot do such a thing. We will stand up to you, we are a people of resistance. President Trump, do not play with the Lion’s tail, you will regret it, we will bring you eternal regret” Rouhani said in a speech that has come to be misunderstood as the beginning of the war of words.
But as far back as May 8, when American President Donald Trump repealed the peace deal signed with Iran, Trump called the Iranian Government names including “the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism” and plunderers of the wealth of its people. He also likened the Iranian leadership to a Mafia and called the democratically elected leadership of Iran a dictatorship.
After Rouhani’s speech, Trump took to Twitter in an all-caps rant saying “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
Rouhani says Trump’s “empty threats” do not deserve a response and military Commanders in Iran are speaking up on how ready they are to go to war with America should the latter start a confrontation.
“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine … Come. We are ready. If you begin the war, we will end the war,” says Major-General Qassem Soleimani, who heads the Quds Force of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Responding to US threat, Iran appears to reveal its own strategy saying it has been the protector of the Strait of Hormuz.
“Mr. Trump! We are the people of dignity and guarantor of security of the waterway of the region throughout history,” Rouhani says.
The Strait of Hormuz is the narrow choke point for tankers carrying Gulf oil exports to the rest of the world. The Gulf has 60% of the world’s oil.
Two hours before Trump’s twitter outburst, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech, in California, on “supporting Iranian voices”. A speech which appears to suggest that the United States will support a Coup in Iran. This is despite the fact that Rouhani beat his closest opponent with almost 40% in the last Iranian general elections.
It will not be the first time the US will be supporting the ouster of an Iranian government. In 1953, the US overthrew Iranian democracy and installed the Shah, who many considered a Pro-US dictatorship.
Earlier in 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh rose to power in Iran and discovered, like Trump says he has about America’s, that Iranian wealth was leaving Iran as its Oil reserves were under British control through Anglo-Iranian Oil Company which later became BP.
Mossadegh became very popular at home for nationalizing the Oil industry, but Britain fought back and by 1953 the US helped Britain with its newly created CIA which engineered a Coup with codename Operation Ajax. The Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, came in once again as a dictatorship and the Oil industry went back to Britain with support from the American CIA and Israel’s MOSSAD.
Ayatollah Khomeini was one of the exiled critics of the Shah of Iran and his pro-American policy and this led to series of protest which saw Khomeini returning from exile and the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw millions of students coming out to remove the Shah.
The US admitted its role in ousting President Mossadegh but was not done with interference in Iran’s internal affairs.
With support from the US, Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded Iran seeking control of Iran’s Oil rich region, leaving half a million dead from 1980 to 1988. The New York Times revealed papers which showed that the US kept supporting Saddam even after realizing he was using chemical weapons against Iranians.
This increased resentment of the US Government in Iran.
Despite the worrisome history, President Trump, while repealing Obama’s peace deal with Iran, accused Iran of running a dictatorship, and complained that Iran is spending too much on its military, and said Iran “fuels confrontation” in the Middle East.
Obama’s Peace, torn
While some speculate that Trump’s recent Twitter outburst was just to change the News circle from the reviews his performance while meeting Russian President Vladamir Putin got, what is clear is that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, usually referred to as the Iranian Peace Deal, stands repealed and Trump has reasons which continue to shock analysts.
Former President Obama’s government reached the agreement with Iran after an extensive negotiation that involved the other 5 world powers.
After the agreement, Obama said “all pathways to a nuclear weapon has been cut off” for Iran, as America continued to say all it wanted was an Iran that does not pose a Nuclear threat to the World. Trump’s resentment of the agreement, however, confuses this intention.
While repealing the agreement, despite outcry from all over the world, Trump, after lashing out at Iran, condemned the lifting of the sanctions against Iran saying the deal was so bad, even if Iran complied it can still have a nuclear breakout in a short time. He also claimed that if Iran has nuclear weapon other states in the Middle East will immediately want to have. Claiming that Iran’s enrichment of Uranium is not peaceful, Trump promised the stiffest of economic sanctions against Iran.
But a look at the agreement does not help Trump’s narrative.
According to the agreement, Iran was to reduce its Uranium by 95% and leave only 3% of enriched Uranium. To put this in perspective, Medical Research needs about 20% of enriched Uranium. This means that after the deal, the amount of enriched Uranium Iran has will not even be enough for something as innocent as medical research. Weapons grade Uranium, on the other hand, will mean that Iran has to have up to 90% Uranium as against the 3% it agreed to not go more than.
Iran was also to give up 15,000 centrifuges and only retain 5,000. And the country also allowed for inspectors to come in and ensure that they comply with the plan. A weapon Inspector actually went on record to say the way the plan is made, if Iran violates it there is a 100% chance Inspectors will notice immediately.
This was still not a good plan according to Trump.