Four decades of conflict with Iran, explained

Iran and the U.S. have been enemies since 1979. Why? Here’s everything you need to know: What is the state of relations? For four decades, the U.S. and Iran have been locked into what is essentially an ongoing, low-grade war. Since its inception in 1979, the Shiite theocracy, now run by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a council of top clerics, has considered the U.S. the “Great Satan” — an intruder in the Middle East and a primary obstacle to the mullahs’ goal of sustaining and spreading their Shiite Islamic revolution. Speeches and sermons often end with the chant “Death to America!” Iran sponsors a network of Shiite militias… Read More

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Trump is setting up a massive nuclear crisis with Iran

Republican analysts and officials spent most the week taking a macabre and unearned victory lap, celebrating President Trump’s rub-out of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the tepid Iranian response. Lee Smith, in the New York Post, called it “a strategic victory for President Trump,” that could result in “a political masterstroke.” The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, with his trademark magnanimity, declared on Twitter that “deterrence worked, you f—ing numbskulls.” Dead Soleimani Fever even spread to the theoretically sane, with Time columnist Ian Bremmer calling it “a win for Trump” and claiming that negotiations are now more likely. It’s all a bit premature. While Iran chose not to further escalate this… Read More

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Trump says he wants diplomacy with Iran. Here’s how he can start.

Half a day after an Iranian missile strike on U.S. bases in Iraq, President Trump took the off-ramp from war that Tehran’s casualty-free retaliation offered. “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned, and a good thing for the world,” he said in a brief address from the White House. This is wonderful news. So too are Trump’s diplomatic overtures toward Iran, his call for a new “deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.” Unfortunately, it is wildly premature to anticipate real diplomatic progress coming from this invitation to replace the nuclear deal Trump himself gutted in… Read More

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Trump says he wants diplomacy with Iran. Here’s how he can start.

Half a day after an Iranian missile strike on U.S. bases in Iraq, President Trump took the off-ramp from war that Tehran’s casualty-free retaliation offered. “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned, and a good thing for the world,” he said in a brief address from the White House. This is wonderful news. So too are Trump’s diplomatic overtures toward Iran, his call for a new “deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.” Unfortunately, it is wildly premature to anticipate real diplomatic progress coming from this invitation to replace the nuclear deal Trump himself gutted in… Read More

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