In response to the initial moves by the United States earlier in the month, Iran said it would end compliance with its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
The deal with the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom was intended to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
Sanam Vakil, a senior research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, a London-based research group, said the Trump administration’s lack of understanding about Iran has only fanned the flames.“Something as simple as the very insulting language they use, which is political and by choice, is not language that works with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” she said.
“There’s just very limited trust between both sides.”While some have compared the situation with Iran to the lead-up to the American invasion of Iraq, there are important differences.
Iran and Iraq have grown increasingly aligned in the years since Saddam Hussein’s ouster and the subsequent rise of a Shiite-led government.
Once fierce adversaries, the most recent national elections saw Iraqi parties with links to the paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces — an umbrella organization of about 50 paramilitary groups, many with ties to Tehran, which successfully fought against the Islamic State — gain even more power.The Americans said the crew mistook the plane for a fighter jet.Other confrontations were not lethal but were seen as embarrassing.In December 2011, Iranian forces claimed to have downed a sophisticated American surveillance drone that had gone missing.The United States said the drone had crashed and demanded Iran return it.“There is a very clear divide with the trans-Atlantic allies as to how to handle this crisis,” Dr. “Europe is prevailing upon the United States to be calm and measured in their response.You can very clearly see their frustrations that this is a manufactured crisis.”Regional allies — including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel, all of which have been supportive of the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran — have stayed quiet so far.Iran is nearly four times larger than neighboring Iraq in terms of territory.With a population of more than 80 million, it is the second most populous country in the region after Egypt, with the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the World Bank.“Their silence over the past few days is very telling that their bark was bigger than their bite,” Dr. “By no means does the region want to absorb the pain of a conflict with Iran.”The tensions between Iran and the United States stretch back decades, well predating the Trump administration.The most dangerous flash point has long been the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway that connects the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world.