RISING TENSIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST: THE POSITION OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND THE FUTURE OF THE IRAN DEAL

Spearhead Special Paper – 28.06.2019

By Hira A. Shafi
Senior Research Analyst, Spearhead Research

The Iran-US ties have been in a downward spiral ever since President Trump assumed power. President Trump has termed the JCPOA (Iran Deal) as a bad deal- in his view the deal enables Iran to: accumulate economic benefits, eventually acquire nuclear weapons and threaten the security of the traditional American allies in the Middle East. The recent days manifested a near conflict situation when Iran downed a US RQ-4A Global Hawk- for violating Iranian airspace. Soon after the incident, President Trump ordered attacks on Iranian installations before calling off the attack few hours later. The Trump regimes unilateral withdrawal from the Iran deal and ensuing sanctions on Iran paints a bleak picture of the future efficacy of the JCPOA. The recent downing of a US drone by Iran is the first direct attack on a US asset amidst the rising tensions between Iran and US, this incident has positioned the future of the Middle East at a critical juncture. The upcoming days will set the tone for the future of the JCPOA and the Middle East arena.


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