Understand: A closer look at U.S. and Iran conflict

UTSA political science professor explains U.S. and Iranian Relations

SAN ANTONIO – Jon Taylor, who teaches foreign policy analysis at the University of Texas at San Antonio, has been keeping a close eye on the United States and Iran situation. He said tensions have been building for years.

“The 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution and the overthrow of the Shah. 1979, as well, (had) the hostage situation, which lasted 444 days. Tensions in the Gulf and the Middle East from the 1970s and ’80s until the present. Basically, we fought what you might call a 40-year-plus low-level, low-intensity war,” Taylor said.

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In May 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. The agreement offered Iran sanction relief in exchange for limits to its nuclear program.

Trump called the deal a one-sided transaction that wasn’t working for the U.S. and imposed sanctions on Iran that crippled its economy.

“I get what Trump was doing. However, if you’re going to try to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, you might want to actually stay on, stay in the negotiating room, and stay at the table. We didn’t do that,” Taylor said.

Since those sanctions were imposed, Iran has been increasing its attacks. Just last month, there were Iranian-backed terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassy in Iraq.

Trump: Iran appears to be ‘standing down’ after strike

On Thursday, Trump ordered a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general and other officials.

The Trump administration said it killed General Qasem Soleimani because he was planning new attacks against the United States.

“As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities. He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims,” Trump said.

Taylor said the fight between Iran and the United States is not over.

“I would not be surprised to see some sort of retaliatory action against a high-ranking American asset at some point in the future at the Iranians’ choosing,” Taylor said.

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