U.S.-Iran Relations

November 15, 2019 • Volume 29, Issue 41
Is a military conflict inevitable?
By Jonathan Broder

Introduction

President Trump's withdrawal from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal and his crippling economic sanctions against Tehran have added more volatile elements to an already tense Middle East. Trump wants to force Iran to permanently halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and stop supporting Shiite militants fighting Sunni governments across the region. The sanctions, while causing suffering for many Iranians, have united the country behind its defiant clerical leadership. Tehran has sought to raise the stakes of the confrontation and encourage global pressure on Trump to lift his sanctions by downing a U.S. drone and harassing foreign oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. American officials also accuse Iran of attacking Saudi Arabia's oil installations. So far, Trump has not responded militarily, but neither has he relaxed the sanctions. As long as they remain in place, experts say, Iran will likely continue its provocations. The standoff between Washington and Tehran will not end peacefully unless the two sides start talking about their differences, experts add.

A protester holds a sign in 2018 outside the building that once housed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran (AFP/Getty Images/Atta Kenare)
A protester holds a sign in 2018 outside the building that once housed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. President Trump's pullout from a nuclear accord with Iran and the sanctions that followed have led to a tense standoff between the two countries. (AFP/Getty Images/Atta Kenare)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Iran
Nov. 15, 2019  U.S.-Iran Relations
Mar. 04, 2016  U.S.-Iran Relations
Feb. 07, 2012  Rising Tension Over Iran
Nov. 16, 2007  U.S. Policy on Iran
Dec. 18, 1998  Reform in Iran
Aug. 29, 1986  Iran's Revolt Within
Jan. 26, 1979  Iran Between East and West
Apr. 26, 1974  Resurgent Iran
Apr. 04, 1962  Iran: Reform or Revolt
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Alliances and Security Agreements
Arms Control and Disarmament
Congress Actions
Diplomacy and Diplomats
Export Sanctions and Restrictions
Exports and Imports
General Defense and National Security
Global Issues
Gulf War
Import Quotas and Customs
International Law and Agreements
Iraq War
Islam
Middle East Conflicts
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
U.S. at War: Iraq
War and Conflict