Islamic Revolutionary Guard soldiers in Iran photo source: IRNA
At the beginning of the new year, U.S. President trump authorized an air strike on Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, killing Irans spy king and major general suleymani of the Revolutionary Guard at the airport, which suddenly escalated tensions between the two countries. While Iran vowed to retaliate, trump also carefully selected 52 targets, just in response to the fact that Iran took 52 US embassy hostages decades ago.
In the face of this provocation, Iranian President Rouhani tweeted in response to the US shooting down the Iranian airliner in the late 1980s: those who mention 52 should also remember the number of 290. #Iran Air 655 never threatens Iran.
Looking back over half a century of us Iraqi relations, although there was short-term cooperation during the Pahlavi Dynasty, the two countries were in conflict for most of the time. Trump and Rouhani once again mentioned the historical events corresponding to 52 and 290 respectively, which is also enough to prove that the confrontation between gratitude and resentment in history has never been far away.
In the history of us Iran friendship, the Iranian coup in the middle of last century was the starting point. Before that, the two countries did not meet much.
In August 1953, British and American intelligence agencies joined in overthrowing the power of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and restoring the power of King Pahlavi. Since its election in 1951, moshatai has been committed to promoting the nationalization of Irans oil industry and reaching the interests of Britain, which has been developing Irans resources for many years.
As a democratically elected leader, moshatai was loved by the Iranian people for its extensive reforms. Since the coup, the Iranians have planted seeds of enmity.
After the coup, the U.S. government provided more than $1 billion in aid to Iran in the next decade. Iran once became one of the closest allies of the United States in the Middle East during the Pahlavi Dynasty. Cooperation between the two countries also includes nuclear technology, which is now at the heart of the conflict.
In the 1950s, Iran launched its nuclear program with the help of the United States as part of its peaceful use of atomic energy program. The project is the initiative of Eisenhower, then president of the United States, to share nuclear technology with countries around the world, including Israel, Pakistan and Iran, which provides the basis for Irans controversial nuclear program.
Since 1957, the United States has provided Iran with its first nuclear reactor and fuel. In 1967, the United States also provided Iran with a five megawatt nuclear reactor and weapons grade enriched uranium fuel.
In the 1960s and 1970s, when oil prices were high, Irans economic strength increased significantly. During this period, military assistance and arms trade have played a significant role in US Iraq relations. Fan Hongda, a professor at Xiamen University, wrote that during Nixons presidency, the United States implemented an almost unrestricted arms sales policy towards Iran.
Pahlavis purchase of a large number of weapons from the United States and other countries has certainly enhanced Irans military strength and enhanced its international status. However, fan Hongda stressed that Pahlavis spending a lot of oil dollars on weapons will inevitably affect his investment in Irans more important economic construction, which not only foreshadows his downfall, but also creates obstacles for the development of us Iran relations since then.
In the late 1970s, Khomeini, the anti American fighter and Shiite leader, led the revolution to overthrow the Pahlavi Dynasty, establish the Islamic Republic and implement the system of political and religious unity. However, shortly after the establishment of the new government, Iran had a far-reaching hostage crisis, which opened the curtain of long-term tension and hostility between the United States and Iran.
According to the US side, King Pahlavi went to the US for medical treatment in 1979. But students in Iran believe that Pahlavi should return to Iran for trial, and the U.S. government should apologize for interfering in Irans internal affairs. In order to realize these demands, on November 4 that year, a group of Iranian students occupied the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took American diplomats as hostages.
It is worth mentioning that six Americans in the embassy took advantage of the situation and escaped from Iran with the help of a CIA team posing as film producers. The Oscar winning film escape from Tehran is based on this incident.
In the 444 days since the hostage was taken, U.S. President Carter cut off diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980, which has never been restored. A U.S. rescue mission ended in failure, killing eight American soldiers and ultimately losing Carters re-election campaign. In July of the same year, Pahlavi died.
Considering that Reagan, the new president of the United States, may take stronger countermeasures and the outbreak of the Iran Iraq war, the final 52 hostages were released on the day of Reagans inauguration in January 1981. The figure is seen as a source of Trumps recent threats against 52 key Iranian facilities.
Since September 1980, when Iraq launched an attack on Iran, the war between the two countries lasted for eight years, and the two sides took the initiative of many times to increase air and sea attacks at the same time.
During this period, the United States listed Iran as a state supporting terrorism in 1984 and imposed severe sanctions. In that year, the CIA recorded more than 60 attacks supported by Iran against the United States and France, including attacks by Shiite Islamic radical organizations on the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.
On the other hand, the Iran gate incident, one of the biggest scandals of the Reagan administration, revealed that the U.S. government had secretly contacted Iran to sell weapons to Iran in exchange for Irans assistance in rescuing hostages held by Lebanese militias.
The deal allowed Irans moderates to ease relations with the United States and to get American weapons to continue to fight Iraq. But after the incident came to light, Reagans popularity plummeted, leading to a hearing in Congress.
As Iran and Iran continue to fight, the two sides try to destroy each others oil exports in the tanker war. From 1984 to 1988, there were frequent attacks on oil tankers passing through the region, the scale of commercial shipping fell by 25% at the beginning, and the price of crude oil rose rapidly. Iran continues to claim that it may block the Strait of Hormuz.
Faced with the threat to the crude oil market, Kuwait tankers were escorted by the United States. The U.S. military launched the sincere will operation, which lasted from July 1987 to September 1988 and was the largest naval escort operation since World War II. Iran, on the other hand, turned below the surface and began to deploy mines in secret.
On April 14 of the following year, the U.S. missile frigate Roberts, deployed in the Persian Gulf, triggered a mine and exploded a 4.5-meter hole in the hull. Three days later, Reagan, then president of the White House, announced retaliation and military sanctions against Iran, opening the curtain of praying mantis action.
We are taking this action to ensure that Iranians no longer have illusions about the cost of their irresponsible actions, Reagan said on April 19, 1988. Our goal is to stop Irans aggression, not to provoke it.
In 1988, nearly 300 civilians fell victim to the US Iraq conflict. On July 3 of that year, in a small-scale conflict between the Persian Gulf and Iranian ships, the US Navys warship Vincent shot down flight 655 of Iran airlines. The Airbus A300 carries many Muslim pilgrims to Mecca. All 290 people on board were killed, which is what ruhani refers to as 290. But the US said it was mistaken for an F-14.
During the two US Presidents terms after the air crash, although there was a dawn of cooperation in US Iran relations, the US hostility to Iran remained unchanged.
In the 1990s, Clinton extended sanctions against Iran and pushed the Iran transaction Supervision Act to sever all investment and trade relations between the United States and Iran. Although Secretary of state Albright unexpectedly acknowledged the important role played by the United States in the 1953 coup in 2000, Iran did not respond to the proposal of the United States government to open some trade measures.
In 2002, Bush listed Iran as part of the axis of evil in his state of the Union address.
After entering the 21st century, western countries continue to identify Iran for its secret nuclear weapons program, which has been denied for a long time, and international negotiations continue.
After taking office, Obama called out to Iran that he would help if he was willing to unclench his fist and persuade the West that they were not trying to build a nuclear bomb. But in his first term, nuclear talks with Iran stalled. On the last day of 2011, the Obama administration also announced the national defense authorization law for fiscal year 2012, which strengthened financial sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran and related banks.
Two years later, Iran and six countries (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) signed an Iranian nuclear agreement in Vienna, agreeing to lift sanctions on Iran conditionally and gradually in oil, trade and other aspects. In exchange, Iran promised to limit its nuclear program.
But the good times are not long. Three years later, trump announced in May 2018 that he would withdraw from the Iranian nuclear agreement and resume economic sanctions against Iran. In April 2019, the United States designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
In May, a full year after trump pulled the United States out of Irans nuclear deal, Iran announced it would ease some of the restrictions it imposed on its nuclear program. From last spring to summer, according to the United States, Iran launched a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf region, which was also behind the attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia at that time.
The International Monetary Fund said Irans economy is expected to shrink by 9.5% in 2019 due to tougher US sanctions.
By the end of 2019, U.S. facilities in Iraq had suffered multiple attacks, which led the United States to focus on the Shiite armed forces supported by Iran. Protesters besieged the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, on New Years Eve after the U.S. targeted it.
At sea lake manor in Florida, trump said the Iranian government would take full responsibility and Iran would pay a very high price. Its not a warning, its a threat. But he said there would be no military conflict between the two sides and told reporters on the scene that we will have a good year.
At the end of the speech, Sulaimani, the leader of the Holy City Brigade subordinate to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and regarded as the future leader of Iran, was fixed-point cleared at Baghdad airport.
In the face of Irans threat of retaliation, as well as anti war marches across the United States, trump responded: come on, if they do it, we will do it. they kill our people, torture and hurt our people, and set bombs on our people on the roadside, but we cant touch their cultural sites, which is unreasonable.
As the situation changes, no one can tell how the US Iraq situation will develop. The grudge has never been far away and will continue.