The first major news story to break in 2020 was the possibility of a war between the US and Iran. The internet has dubbed the conflict “World War 3”, due to the insane military power of the US and Iran’s nuclear power.
Rocky US/Iran relations stem as far back as 1953. Here is a breakdown of what has happened since:
- 1953: US and British Intelligence organise a coup to overthrow a democratically elected leader
- 1979-1981: US Embassy hostage crisis took place, seeing a group of US hostages held by Iranian protesters for 444 days
- 1986: The US illegally sends military weapons to Iran to buy their help in freeing US hostages held in Lebanon
- 1988: Plane leaving Iran for Mecca shot down by the US. Later intelligence found it was a commercial passenger plane.
- 2002: President George Bush labels Iran as part of the ‘axis of evil’ along with Iraq and North Korea.
- 2015: Iran agrees to Nuclear Deal, ultimately limiting their nuclear funding and activities.
- 2018: President Trump abandons current relations and imposed economic sanctions on Iran and threatens all countries purchasing Iranian Oil.
This brings us to 2020. January 3rd was the final straw for both Iran and the US. US intelligence informed Trump that Iran’s top military general and beloved military figure, Qasem Soleimami, was orchestrating attacks on US people. Trump opted not to release this intel and instead approved the assassination of Soleimani.
Trump sent a drone strike to Soleimani’s position in Iraq. The assassination of Iran’s top military general resulted in talks that the Iranian government would be pulling out of the Obama orchestrated 2015 nuclear deals. This had us all concerned that nuclear attacks by Iran were possible.
On January 4th Trump tweeted that if Iran retaliated, he would target 52 Iranian sites. The very next day on January 5th, Iran officially pulled out of any and all nuclear deals with the United States.
Following these events, many US allies such as Canada and Germany were considering removing their military presence from Iraq, fearing attacks from Iran. In the following days, news broke of Iran targeting an Iraq-based US base with missiles. Many US officials believed the attack was not intended to cause loss of life, but rather to send a message to Trump.
On the same day, a Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down. All 176 people on flight 752 were killed. On January 9th evidence found that the plane was shot down by a surface to air missile by the Iranian military.
It is unclear what happens next. Military attacks by Iran and the US have seemed to stop for now. New reports from January 13th, however, have indicated that Defence Secretary, Mark Esper (who was responsible for the intel that Soleimani was coordinating attacks on US lives at four US Embassies) was later quoted in regards to the aforementioned intel that, “I didn’t see one (piece of intel) with regard to four embassies”. This highlighted that there was perhaps no real mention of an attack on US lives let alone four separate embassies.
The US and Iran have shared tensions since 1953. Following the actions of Trump and retaliation by Iran, there seems to be no sign of these tensions coming to a complete end. Iran has backed out of its nuclear deals and could quite possibly become a nuclear superpower in the coming decade. The US, led by Trump, could see further misinformation in the form of intel.
Will history repeat itself? Is the internet correctly predicting World War 3? Let us know your thoughts on the US and Iran conflict.