US-Iran tension escalates

(VOVWORLD) - Concerns about a new conflict in the Middle East have increased following the Pentagon’s deployment of an aircraft carrier and a bomber wing in the Arabian Gulf to counter Iran after Iran threatened to reactivate its high-level uranium enrichment program. The events coincided with the 1-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

Recent aggressive moves by Iran and the US are seen as tit-for-tat actions. The US sanction might work in reducing Iran’s influence and strength but unexpected consequences are being reported.


The situation in the Gulf region has become more complicated. Since its unilateral withdrawal from the deal which the Trump administration says did not slow Iran’s ballistic missile tests or keep Iran from joining conflicts in the region, the US has been steadily increasing pressure on Iran with more sanctions, especially on crude oil.

Although Iran has suffered for the past year from the US sanctions, the International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran has so far strictly abided by the historic nuclear deal. Tensions increased when the US listed Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps as terrorists and Iran moved to block the strait of Hormuz, an important international maritime route. Iran’s President recently announced that if the other parties to the accord, including the UK, China, Russia, France, and Germany can’t figure out how to shield Iran's oil and banking industries from US sanctions, Iran will begin enriching uranium to higher levels, ending one commitment made under the deal.

A few hours after the Iranian President’s announcement, President Trump ordered more sanctions on Iran’s mining and metal sectors, the country’s two second largest cash earners after crude oil. Washington warned that Iran "can expect further actions unless it fundamentally alters its conduct." President Trump also warned other countries he will not forgive them for importing Iran’s metals.

The White House said it has dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter what it described as a new threat from Iran. It said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is mobilizing missiles to the coast near Hormuz.

International concerns

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a success of diplomatic efforts to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation and contribute to peace and security in the region and the world. He said he hopes to save the deal. French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said there’s nothing worse than for Iran to withdrawal from the deal. She said France, the UK, and Germany are working hard to preserve the deal. They have introduced initiatives to support the Iranian economy despite US sanctions. China says maintaining the deal is the responsibility of all parties. China strongly condemns the US’s unilateral sanctions on Iran. The collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would pose a threat to the entire world.