Overview of the US-Iran Crisis and Everything that lead to these Current Events

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In the first few days of 2020, the world was struck by the tension between the United States of America and Iran. Everyone was discussing the possibility of the start of World War III based on events that occurred between the two countries — but what exactly happened? Here is the timeline of events that lead to the US – Iran Crisis. 


  • Jumping back to 2017 when President Donald Trump took office and signed an executive order that banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations, Iran included, from coming into the US for 90 days. Iranians called this ban “an obvious insult to the Islamic world”. They later responded by conducting missile testing. This can be recognised as the turning point, causing the sudden escalation of tension between the US and Iran. 


  • President Trump withdraws the United States from the Iran nuclear deal — which, in Trump’s opinion, was “one-sided”. He also stated that he would be placing new sanctions on the regime. This move made critics warn that Iran could restart its atomic program as retaliation — which could cause conflict in the Middle East. 



  • President Trump states that the US will recognise the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a foreign terrorist organisation. This label of the IRGC, the most powerful military institution in Tehran, was the first time that the United State declared another country’s government as a terrorist organisation. The US was later declared a “state sponsor of terrorism” by Iran in response to the declaration. 


  • The US imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the Iran nuclear deal. Iran stated that they will increase their production of low-grade uranium. This breaks the limit imposed and agreed upon in 2015 in regards to stockpiling, bringing the country closer to being able to create nuclear weapons


  • The United States called airstrikes on Iraqi and Syrian facilities which killed at least 25 people. The Pentagon claimed the airstrike was linked to pro-Iranian militia who were responsible for an attack on US service personnel in Iraq. Just a few days later, there was an attempt to penetrate the US embassy in Baghdad by hundreds of pro-Iranian protesters.


January 3rd

  • Qasem Soleiman, top Iranian general, was killed in a US airstrike as he was leaving Baghdad International Airport.
  • This strike took place without the knowledge or approval of Congress and without debate. The US stated this strike was to cut off an imminent threat to Americans, which made it legal under US law. 
  • Thousands of Iranian people flooded city streets to mourn their loss. 

January 8th

  • Iran launches missiles at US bases in Iraq — no one was injured
  • Ukrainian Airlines flight was shot down by an Iranian missile. All 176 passengers are killed, including 63 Canadians.

January 9th

  • Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, confirms that the flight was an accidental victim of the Iranian missiles.

This is everything up to date that has occurred during the US-Iran Crisis. We will post updates as events unfold between the two nations. 


  • “The US-Iran Conflict: A Timeline of How We Got Here.” CNN, Cable News Network, www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/01/world/us-iran-conflict-timeline-trnd/.
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