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Policy Summary:

After Iran attacked Iraqi bases that house U.S. forces with missiles and only a few, short days after the Trump administration assassinated Qasem Soleimani, a high-ranking military commander, the president addressed the nation. Trump began his speech, with “As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” The President also confirmed that there were no American deaths due to the attacks and only “minimal” damage to the bases. He also said Iran “appears to be standing down.”

Shortly thereafter, Iran stated that several individuals were apprehended in regard to the Islamic Republic’s firing down of a Ukrainian jetliner killing all 176 people on board, earlier this month. Although, Iran admitted to the demise of the aircraft, due to intense international pressure, the president of Iran still attributed “root causes” of the attack were U.S. actions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “It was the US that caused such an incident to take place.” The Iranian regime has accused the U.S.’s administration for straining relations with the assassination of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani on January 2nd, in Baghdad. Most recently, this Tuesday, Ahmad Hamzeh, an Iranian legislator, offered a three million dollar bounty to “anyone who kills” US President Donald Trump in retaliation for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

Analysis:

The assassination of General Qassem Suleimani has crippled the Trump Administration’s priorities in much of the Middle East. The assasination of Suleimani will come with numerous ramifications for the area’s international relations, military balance in the region, the ongoing battle against islamic extremist groups and Iran’s nuclear program. The Iraqi parliament has decided to have five thousand U.S. troops removed from the country. Nearly two decades following the United States’ invasion, the status of American troops is quickly no longer secure. Soon after, Baghdad requested a plan for withdrawal from the Trump Administration.

The Trump Administration’s has to consider how this will impact relations with Iran. After decades of U.S. leaders attempting to broker the Iran nuclear deal, curbing Tehran’s nuclear program for a projected 25 years, the plan may be in shambles. International tensions have increased dramatically since Trump pulled out of the nuclear accord and imposed overwhelming US sanctions. In response, Iran has gradually moved back from their initial agreements and compromises to the deal. A mere two days after the assassination of  Suleimani, Iran stated they would no longer abide to a limitation in the number of centrifuges for enriching uranium.

The three-million-dollar death threat hanging over Trump’s head was announced on Tuesday evening. American disarmament ambassador Robert Wood dismissed the reward as “ridiculous”, telling reporters in Geneva it showed the “terrorist underpinnings” of Iran’s establishment.”(Read more here)  Hamzeh has accredited the bounty he declared on Trump’s head as one of Iran’s last choices after the Iran Nuclear Deal left the country without nuclear weapons. “If we had nuclear weapons today, we would be protected from threats. … We should put the production of long-range missiles capable of carrying unconventional warheads on our agenda,” Hamzeh told the parliament, according to ISNA. “This is our natural right.” Hamzeh’s statements were declared after the United Kingdom, Germany, and France began considering possible sanctions to be re-imposed on Iran if the nation persists in moving away from the international nuclear deal. “We have therefore been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments,” the foreign ministers of the three countries had written in a letter to the European Union’s foreign policy chief.

Engagement Resources:

  • Peace Action works for smarter approaches to global problems, addressing problems like war, the nuclear threat, poverty, climate change, and terrorism. The organization believes the U.S. needs to work together, cooperatively, with other nations.
  • Peace Spirit Foundation is a civil society organization which has been working for 13 years. Their main goal is to attempt to bring peace to Iran.
  • Ploughshares Fund has supported the most effective people and organizations in the world to reduce and eventually eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. Sign their petition urging Congress to stand up against war with Iran here

This brief was compiled by Erin Mayer. This brief was compiled by Erin Mayer. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact ErinMayer@USResistnews.org

Photo by unsplash-logoOmid Armin

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