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America and Iran Relation After 1979 Revolution Research Paper

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Updated: Nov 22nd, 2019

Since 1979 after the Iran revolution America and Iran has been having diplomatic differences in their relations and in the way they run their Nations as well as in dealing with Global issues. Among the issues that have made these two Nation to conflict and enter into a cold relationship includes; terrorism, nuclear issues, hostage crisis, Israel, the Iraq and Afghanistan war, human rights violation among other things which are differently viewed between the two nations (Anderson, 1981: 65)

Terrorism has been one of the key aspects that have resulted into major conflicts between America and Iran. It is a problem that immerged from one person’s faith: Khomeini, who believed that “Islam should rule the world and that democracy was the root of all evil”.

On the other had the American society and government is built on the principles on democracy an issue that contradicts the principles of the Iranian government. Since his death, terrorism ideologies begun to spread, with a lot activities targeting the US and its International interests (Ball, 1998: 124).

In recent years there have been plans for larger terrorists’ strikes operation as many dozen terrorist’s networks springing up. Since then, terrorism has taken a strong hold due to support from the Iranian government which they are determined to support despite of the appeals from world governments religious denominations and intervention by US government.

In the last decade, installations in the US have been destroyed as wide scale killing of innocent children and adults has taken place with as brutal hostage crisis have always been experienced as a result of Iran’s support to the extremist organizations. These activities have been claimed by America to be inhuman and a violation of human rights.

This is because the American nation believes in human rights and democracy, which has no place in Iranian government. In addition, the Iran’s’ failure to control the extremist views has resulted to the unrest and destruction of life around the world (Hogan, 1996: 80).

Iran is one nation that has maintained a high profile in encouraging the anti- Israeli terrorist activities. Israel is a major US ally and any adverse action against it is seen as a threat to American interests. Nevertheless Iran has constantly supported for the ethnic cleansing of the Israelis with impunity.

As a result, it has rhetorically, operationally, and financially supported guerilla fighting against Israel. For instance, the Iranian readers such as Khomeini and president Ahmadi-Nejad has been praising the operation conducted by Palestinian terrorists towards Israel as Iran provides the Lebanese Hezbollah and other Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas with logistics and military support.

It has as well offered extensive financial assistance, training and artillery to the terrorist groups in Palestine such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades as well as the Liberation of Palestine-General Command which Iran doesn’t view as terrorist (Mitchell,2004:16).

This support has strengthened the terrorist who have integrated their operation, an action that has served to alienate further the relations between the two countries resulting in the US calling for sanctions against Iran and labeling it as a terrorist government accusing the Iran government as a world enemy and promising to fight against it (Boyle, 1999: 132).

In addition Iran has continued to play a destabilizing role in Iraq by supporting terrorist operations in Iraq both directly and indirectly. It has engaged in provision of training to some of the Iraq political groups, provided weapons to Shia military groups and training to enable them defeat the agenda of the coalition troops which is led by the US government.

This support has made the Iraqi extremist groups to conduct activities and operations against the country’s government and other organizations in the country resulting to massive loss of life and property. Moreover the increasing hostility of anti-Coalition attacks has been facilitated by Iran in providing the Shia military with the capability to build IEDs which have explosive projectiles similar to the one produced by Iran and Hezbollah (Nation, 1992:54).

This has been facilitated by the act of the Iran revolutionary Guards who with the Hezbollah initiated a training program to Iraq militants on the construction of advanced IED technology which was passed to the rest of Iraq militants. This has facilitated to constant terrorist attacks to US interests by Iranian sponsored weapons (Charles, 1991: 56).

The government of United States as well as other nations like United Kingdom have been accusing the Iranian administration, particularly the Ahmadinejad administration for its role in causing un warranted suffering of the Iraqi people as well as the US military due to its overwhelming support of the terrorist organizations in Iraq (Ninkovich,1988: 62).

In addition Iran’s supports the Shia militias who have continuously attacked the Coalition troops, Iraqi citizens and numerous installations in Iraq aimed at destabilizing the region and frustrating the US in its effort to bring stability in the region this action led to what President George W. Bush termed Iran as the “worlds primary state sponsor of terror” (Clarke, 2005: 161).

The intervention of America in the Iranian terrorism matters raised the level of differences between the two nations. As a result, this has brought about suffering of innocent countries and individuals for example Israel and other US allies when terrorists operations are carried out to these countries aimed at American interests (Paterson, 1988: 364).

For example many American Embassies in different countries have been attacked by Iranian backed terrorists resulting to Massive loss of life and properties. Some of the countries that have been affected by these operations include Kenya, Iraq, and Palestine among others, where people end up losing their lives (Crockatt,1995: 89)

American has viewed this as inhuman acts where unwarranted attacks on people have led to loss of several lives and in turn a threat towards its sovereignty and security.

On the contrary, the Iranian governments believe that this a noble cause whereby the Islamic people are fighting for their freedom from the western world (Powaski,1998: 80). On the other hand, America being a democratic nation has seen this as violation of human rights and basic freedoms which needs to be stopped making the US call for continuous sanctions against Iran. (Friedman. 2000: 108).

In addition to this, Iran has continuously disrespected the united State’ families and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, the terror attack and the 1983 bombing of the U.S Marines in Lebanon who were sent to keep peace between the Christian and Muslim fighting’s that was going on and resulted to loss of 241 servicemen at a Marines facility in Beirut (Gaddis, 1990: 51).

As a result a judgment of $2.6 billion against the Islamic Republic of Iran has been awarded by the federal court in Washington, D.C., although the families of victims of the 2001 terror attacks are still pursuing the Iranian government to pay the damages for supporting the terrorist attacks.

The Iran government claimed that the accusation on Sept. 11 attack involvement was a big lie against it. Furthermore, on the issue concerning the 1983 Marine attack, Iranian claimed that Ronald Reagan himself needed to be blamed because instead of keeping peace, the U.S army sided with Christians and started bombing Muslims, forcing the Muslims to attack back. Thus the American Government should be sued for lying to people concerning these matters (Roy, 198).

The other major concern that has affected the relationship between America and Iran is the issue of the Nuclear weapon production. The Iran’s operation of production of nuclear weapons sent a spike of fear throughout the world and the world’s peaceful condition was at stake (Sivachev and Nikolai 1979: 43).

This was aggreviated after the United State’s invasion on Saddam concerning the production of nuclear weaponry, which was used by Iraq in bombing Iran during the Iraq-Iran war. On successful elimination of the nuclear weapons from Iraq, Iran took the opportunity to start nuclear operation, an idea that was rejected by United States and other powerful nations. Despite this, it is believed that Iran continues to manufacture nuclear weapons secretly (Gaddis,1987: 67)

This can be attributed to the difference in issues concerning Iranian nuclear program by the US nuclear experts and the US intelligence officials who have more access of vital information concerning Iran.

On the other hand the reports concerning nuclear terrorism on the Iran’s neighboring countries also made Iran fear that its security and political development is at stake if these countries like Pakistan were to attack them hence the Iran leaders and experts had to confront the situation ( Ulam, 1974:97).

This was a matter that the Iranian government was not ready to ignore and the country had to think of the necessary precautions it needed to undertake to prevent any attack that could be brought up by these countries. As a result Iran saw it as a need to have even a minimal nuclear deterrent capacity (Westad, 2006:219).

When the US announced its invasion to Iraq, Iran was supportive though its main objective was to eliminate Saddam’s nuclear threat. However, on the Pakistan and Afghanistan threat to Iran it reconsidered its quitting to shelf its weapons but instead it optimistically took this opportunity to install nuclear defense.

As a result it brought back the old Iranian nuclear threat to other neighboring countries and globally. However, Iran claims that its nuclear production is for defense purpose, a situation that have made Washington to reconsider its perception on Iran, as not simply a nuclear threat, but rather a potential in partnership on fight against global nuclear terrorism(Lewis, 2006: 91).

The US officials hence needed to understand the Iran’s stand on the nuclear terrorism issue to determine whether they were to collaborate with them. However, the collaboration of US-Iran was seen as a gateway that could allow Iran in its ambitions of nuclear weapons, this cooperation between US and Iran on nuclear terrorism campaign was seen to have possibilities in cooperating with Afghanistan, hence neutralizing the call for a nuclear shield against nuclear terrorism.

Although, Iran was no more afraid of Pakistan nuclear attack, US defense Secretary, William Perry, said “there is a real threat of nuclear strike against the US from non-state actors in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” In addition Iranian alleges that the anti-Shi’ite radicals in Pakistan would attempt to attack them if they managed to interrupt and make away with the Iranian nuclear artillery.

These views concerning attacks to Iran and US made their relations on nuclear terrorism fight come to an agreement despite the restrict measures imposed in Iran by US concerning the weapons production ( Zubok,1996: 78).

Despite its fight against nuclear terrorism by other Middle East countries, the Iranian plea to be licensed in nuclear production was denied. This has made the two nations to remain in continuous suspicion of each other concerning their security issues. The US due to Iran’s war like activities any significant increased in its arsenal would result in fears around the worlds and in particular towards the US Since it will be considered that such an amount of unrivaled arsenal would be directed towards the US and its installations in the world.

This can be seen in the US alarm over Iran nuclear ambitious which will jeopardize its peace if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons and attack to United States. Hence it has portrayed Iran as not qualified for nuclear production. However Iran has condemned the US over its double standard nature since other nations in the world are allowed to purse nuclear ambitions while it is not (Ball, 1998: 34)

The Iran-Iraq war was major concern and took the intervention of the United States government. Immediately after the Iran revolution began, Iraq invaded Iran with an aim of stopping the revolution while in its infancy; for fear that the revolution would spread to Iraq. This invasion resulted to an eight year war between the two nations, which led to massive killing of government officials, military and civilians.

This war was condemned by United States, which sent peace troops, and forced them to make for peace resolutions. This action by the US led to resentment by the two countries. In addition, the Marines peace keeper whose mission was to settle the conflict between Christians and Muslims were condemned by Iranian for siding with Christian and attacking Muslims. This resulted to suicide bombing which coasted many American lives and Hatred between the two nations expanded.

The hostage taking of Americans in Iran has also affected the relationship between these two countries. Immediately after the revolution, the Americans in Iran were held hostage with the claim that the United States backed up Shah’s regime. Despite the United States plea to Iran to release their citizens the hostage crises still persisted.

The American families of the victim pleaded with the government as it accused Iran for its actions and refused to agree with the negotiations. This took place in 1979 to 1981, where 52 Americans were held hostage for one year and sixty nine days, after a faction of Islamic students and militias took over the American Embassy as a show of support to the Iranian revolution (Leffler, 2007: 348).

Due to unsuccessful of negotiations for hostage release the US army made an attempt for a rescue operation which failed resulting to death of eight Americans servicemen and one Iranian civilian. This hostage taking was viewed as a “retaliation and reciprocated disbelief” entanglement. It was seen as a blow to the United States governance despite the US freezing all Iranian assets in the in the United States.

The effect of this hostage crisis was had far more adverse effect on the American administration which was accompanied by the loss of presidency of President Jimmy Carter in November 1980. This situation strengthened Khomeini political power and his opposition to the US. On the other hand, it marked the genesis of U.S legal action and fiscal embargos against Iran as well as deteriorating the economic ties between the two nations which has its effect up to date (Gaddis, 1982: 253).

The Iranian government exercises exploitation to its citizen by its faith that democracy is an enemy of development. The minorities like women are exploited and are denied their rights of expression. They are made to be submissive to men. In addition, human rights, concerning movement freedom, speech freedom as well as expression have always been undermined.

This has made the Human Right Programs and movements in the US to intervene and try to reduce exploitation act a move that have been received with hostility in Iran. This is because they consider US as an enemy without the moral authority to intervene in its sovereign matters (LaFeber, 1993: 43).

The United States is also concerned with the false faith that is instilled in Iranians concerning their relation with the US as a result of the Iran’s media and government. For instance the suicide bombing is an issue of a human right of life which is exploited by the Iran’s regime.

From the revolution, the relation between the United States and Iraq have been at stake and involved with a lot of friction concerning human right, terrorism and war among other issues. This has brought about many differences in views concerning both internal and global issues which are disagreed by the two nations. As a result, this has coasted both nations and the world much in terms of properties and lives (January, 2008: 256).

In conclusion after the Iranian revolution, the relations between the two countries have always deteriorated with time as each country pursed its own interests and that of it citizens and allies. Despite the fact that the world is becoming one global village, this realization is still far from becoming a reality to both countries as their differences are continuously increasing in each and every agenda on their tables from human rights to nuclear ambitions (Lundestad, 1999: 412).

Reference List

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Ball, S. 1998, The Cold War: An International History, 1947-1991, British perspective, London.

Boyle, P. 1993, American-Soviet Relations: From the Russian Revolution to the Fall of Communism, Routledge, New York.

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Crockatt, R. 1995, The Fifty Years War: The United States and the Soviet Union in World Politics, 1941-1991, Routledge, London.

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