Tensions between Iran and the U.S. rise
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the nation would scrap limits on enriched uranium set by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action*, or ‘nuclear deal’. That deal, secured by the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, China and Russia placed restrictions on nuclear development to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
During his campaign Trump vowed to remove the U.S. from the deal, holding to that promise in mid-2018. While former Sec. of State John Kerry and President Obama championed the deal, President Trump argued it was ineffective in limiting Iran’s military strength.
In recent months, tensions have increased between Iran and the U.S. After Iran shot down an unarmed American surveillance drone, the two nations disagreed on whether the aircraft had crossed into Iranian territory. President Trump is reported to have called off a retaliatory U.S. attack at the 11th hour. This, in addition to an alleged Iranian attack on two oil tankers, resulted in America increasing its military presence in the region.
The announcement from President Rouhani is sure to result in a further increase in tension, as the Trump Administration has focused on Iran as a threat to national security and allies. According to the Washington Post, White House policy is to seek negotiation, contrasting with President Trump’s tweets threatening potential “obliteration” if attacked.