The connection between the United States and Iran has always been a tricky one. While there are no formal connections in place, the two countries have interacted plenty of times in the modern era, but often under unpleasant circumstances.
US Support of Iranian Nuclear Power
Perhaps the beginning of the relationship between the United States and Iran was when the US gave Iran the facilities to start making nuclear power in 1957. As a result of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative, the US helped certain countries develop nuclear power, and Iran was selected as one of them. This would later lead to a major conflict between the two countries.
Iranian Revolution in 1979
The already-tense relationship between the United States and Iran undoubtedly peaked in 1979 following the overthrow of the Shah, who was distinctly pro-American. The Iranian people’s movement for a democratic Iran was highjacked by clergies led by Ayatollah Khomeini, who had lives in Iraq for 15 years. This led to Iranian regime taking Americans hostage at the Tehran embassy, which is one of the most well-known events in the history of the relationship between Iran and the United States, and a major turning point that would set the stage for years to come. Ayatollah Khomeni used this hostage taking to suppress the internal dissents, toppled the administration of Mehdi Bazargan and led iran to more instability.
Aggression in the 1980s
Throughout the 1980s, Iran took action against the United States, often in small capacities, but they still made a major impact. Iran was responsible for small bombings in 1983 and 1988, and airline terrorism as well. The fact that they had nuclear capabilities became a major factor during the height of the Cold War.
Trade Embargo/Dismantling the Nuclear Program
The United States placed a trade embargo on Iran in 1995 as a result of decades of tense relations. The idea was to keep goods from moving between the US and Iran. At one point, Iran depended on the US for military weapons and nuclear capabilities, and the trade embargo was an attempt at shutting them off. This embargo continued until 2016, when Iran agreed to dismantle their nuclear program. Iranian regime’s supports for Assad in Syria put the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) against the Arab population in the region. Iran’s support for Assad resulted in over 500,000 death, 6,000,000 refugees and 6,000,000 internally displaced Syrians.
The relationship between Iran and the United States has often been a rocky one.