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Photo by Bridget Petersen

“Rouhani Poking the Great American Bear”

Story by Gabriela Odisio and Milan

With the strongest military power in the world, the United States has the unspoken duty to measure up foreign powers to ensure global safety. While this strategy allows the U.S. to make numerous allies, hostile nations have been an unfortunate by-product as controversies rise in regards on how to deal with them.

In regions such as the Middle-East, America’s campaign has been especially turbulent. Traumatized by the World Trade Center attack in 2001, American forces have been actively combating countries like Iran, where the state-sponsored terrorist groups, Hezbollah and Tehran, have shown great influence in other neighboring nations such as Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.

However, the United States’ precarious relations with Iran trail back more than 65 years, since the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the Iranian Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq, who intended to nationalize Iran’s oil in 1853.

Twenty-five years later during the Iranian Revolution, the U.S. Embassy Crisis trembled once again the relations between the two countries, as protesters held 52 hostages at the American Embassy for 444 days. Due to the crisis, the Iran and United States’ ties were completely severed as soon as Reagan sworn in his oath to Presidency. 

Fast forward to the early 20th century, as both countries resumed interactions due to American interest in selling weapons to the middle-eastern nation in the Iran-Contra affair, the controversial issue of nuclear power became the new topic of discussion. In union with the E.U., American-designed sanctions were imposed by the UN to limit Iran’s access to enriched plutonium, as was being produced in national clandestine plants. This single action limited Iran’s currency to one-third of its original value and generated an undeniable bitterness towards America.

Back to recent years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps motto: “Prepare against them whatever you are able of power,” which means not waiting for enemies to attack, but being prepared to fight when needed, is the best outline of Iranian moral motivations to “poke the American bear.”

On January 26, 2020, three rockets hit the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad which resulted in one person being injured. 

According to CNN, in a call with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “expressed his outrage at the continued assaults by Iran’s armed groups against US facilities in Iraq.”

This can be attributed to the recent death of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general who was in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and had the responsibility of extraterritorial military operations for Iran.

This force is considered to be ruthless by the U.S., as it is a “foreign terrorist organisation” which would be the first designation of a military force in history.

The IRGC has been thought to be quite powerful as they have been active in infrastructure development, transportation, including educational activities.

With questions of morality taking place as to the purpose of expanding Iran, polarizing political figures such as Iranian president Rouhani criticizes the IRGC and its vast number of resources. Rouhani’s contradicting postures towards IRGC’s actions, as he condemns the organization in open media yet shows governmental support in national grounds, provoke international skepticism while bringing up a question about the President’s actual motivations.

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