Photo via Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times
President Trump desires to strike Iran before the end of his presidency, and has met with advisers regarding an attack on the main iranian nuclear site sources close to the president have claimed.
Senior advisers responded with caution, stating military action could initiate “broader conflict” and hinder the Iran Nuclear Deal. This deal is set in place with a group of world powers known as the P5+1; the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany. In return for Iran showing no sign of nuclear development, the six world powers would provide Iran with economic relief.
President Trump’s desire to strike Iran has been a topic of conversation since 2018 when he claimed the deal was “defective at its core.” Abandoning the rules of the deal in 2018, President Trump reinstated sanctions that would attempt to force Iran leaders into a replacement.
A global watchdog reported on November 11, 2020, that Iran had a uranium stockpile 12 times bigger than the deal permitted; this comes ten months after the U.S. and Iran almost entered open conflict. In January, President Trump ordered a drone strike in Iraq which killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. According to BBC, after advisers reminded the President of this, he decided not to move forward with the desire to strike Iran. Although action has not been taken yet, the President could move ahead with a military strike on Iran, leaving President-elect Joe Biden to rectify the situation.
The recent assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has also threatened the Iran Nuclear Deal. As Iran blames the West; the U.S. and Israel are blaming each other; while Saudi Arabia praises Fakhrizadeh’s death, claiming, “the elimination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, ‘the father of the Iranian nuclear bomb,’ was a service to mankind," Fakhrizadeh is said to be the brains behind Project Amad, a pursuit of nuclear weapons from the 1980s to 2003. While some viewed this scientist as a criminal, his country as a whole viewed a smart man who refused to back down.
U.S. Intelligence placed blame on Israel for the assiantion of Fakhrizadeh since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named the late scientist as the nation’s number one enemy. Fakhrizadeh created a weapon capable of killing eight million in a single blast.
As the presidential terms switch, President-elect Joe Biden is attempting to resume diplomacy with Iran’s capital Tehran. Sanctions from the U.S. on Iran make coming to a resolution difficult. While Iran mourns as a country, their Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spoke on how no retaliation and a positive outcome will only happen if sanctions are nullified. Iran followed all regulations of the Nuclear Deal according to government documentation, however, respect for the deals limitations dwindled after President Trump reinstated sanctions targeting Iran’s trade market. The abandonment of the deal on behalf of the U.S. in 2018, was frowned upon by the U.K., France, and Germany, who now back Iran without facing U.S. penalties. President Trump’s actions then and now, against Iran, paved a path to a world war for Biden and his presidency.