From "the head of the axis of evil" used by US officials to describe Iran and the "Great Satan," as Iran's leaders describe America, the relationship between the two sides moves to complex directions and paths ranging from war to a comprehensive settlement.
Washington and Tehran friends…
Besides what is being talked about now and the tension and conflict and stand on the brink of war sometimes between Washington and Tehran, the two countries had friendly relations and understanding based on a "friendship agreement" signed in 1955 between the parties, the days of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and this agreement lasted throughout the years of the Islamic Revolution in the country without being canceled by either party.
This agreement gave Iran the position of the most favored country in terms of access to US markets with export guarantees and federal-backed credit facilities.
America laid the foundations of Iran's nuclear weapons
More importantly, this agreement opened the way for Iran to buy weapons and military equipment from the United States, and to begin the process of the end of the 1970s according to which Iran was able to obtain the most advanced nuclear weapons from the United States.
The 1955 agreement marked the beginning of increased American influence within Iran, and led to the signing of 18 treaties and other agreements that laid the foundations of the long-standing alliance between the two countries at that time. Among these agreements, which were concluded under the umbrella of the "US atomic program for peace", the installation of the first nuclear reactor in Iran, which the United States has borne the costs of construction and the burdens of the administration for several years.
The United States also offered scholarships to the top 20 Iranian university students studying nuclear science at American universities. Another bilateral agreement paved the way for training Iranian military and intelligence personnel in the United States, particularly combat pilots and technicians.
According to analysts, the United States was aiming through the agreement that it did not abolish to have influence in Iran to reach through it to China, and this is what Trump is trying to repeat as he seeks to strengthen the presence of his influence in Central Asia.
Remarkably, this agreement continued despite all the attacks between the two countries on the US embassy in Iran and attacks on both sides, until Tehran knocked the door of the International Court of Justice in August 2018 regarding the filing of a complaint against the U.S. for alleged violation by Washington of the Joint Agreement signed by Iran and the United States in 1955.
What happened to friends, how hostility began?
Iran witnessed political turmoil on the backdrop of the election of the House of Representatives Mohammad Mossadeq as prime minister in 1951, where Mossadeq did not wait much until he issued a decree to nationalize oil and gas, which led to British and American anger.
There was disagreement between the Shah and Mossadeq over the distribution of government positions, but the Shah was forced to approve Mossadeq's decisions. The army overthrew the Mossadeq government with the help of British and American intelligence. Things were restored and the authority was restored to the Shah to carry out a massive campaign of arrests, including the spread of hostility among the Iranians against the United States.
Khomeini took advantage of that and began to mobilize his supporters to revolt against the Shah, where they managed to overthrow him in 1979; thus, Khomeini had become the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution, and shortly thereafter dozens of students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and detained dozens of diplomats and staff for 444 days demanding the extradition of the Shah who fled abroad to try him.
The United States severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 1980, withheld Iranian assets in the United States, severed trade ties and banned the export of most goods.
In the same year, an attempt to rescue American hostages held in Tehran failed when two US helicopters collided with each other during a landing in the Lot Desert and eight soldiers were killed in the incident.
Iran freed the American hostages in 1981, days after President Ronald Reagan took over from Jimmy Carter. In 1984, Washington classified Iran as a "state sponsor of terrorism."
Tension and conflict with Iran between hawks, doves in the White House administration
The era of President George W. Bush, known as a hawk in the United States, witnessed the escalation of the dispute between Washington and Tehran, where Bush placed Iran in 2002 among the countries of the "axis of evil", and the lifting of the level of sanctions, while in turn, then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in 2005 His country's nuclear program to enrich uranium has increased tension between the two countries.
Tensions continued until President Barack Obama came to the White House and sought to calm tensions in the Middle East. Mid-2015, Iran and the UN Security Council supervised an agreement brokered by the European Union (5 + 1).
In the era of President Donald Trump, who appears to be trying to push negotiations and a solution by force and threat, his administration prioritized the Iranian file, since the promotion of his election campaign has announced his rejection of the nuclear agreement signed with Iran and described it as (the dumbest deal ever), and announced in 2017 withdrawal from the nuclear deal tightening sanctions on Iran in stages.
Linking the nuclear file to the conflicts in the Middle East...
Trump developed a strategy from the outset linking the Iranian nuclear deal to the broader Middle East conflict, intensified after Mike Pompeo was chosen as secretary of state and John Bolton as US national security adviser, known as hawks.
Pompeo said in a speech that Iran had used the 2015 nuclear deal to turn the Middle East into a battlefield and used the money it gained thanks to the deal to expand its influence, finance its terrorist activities and provide support to Hezbollah, the Houthis and other militias in Iraq.
Pompeo put conditions on Iran to ease pressure on it, including halting its nuclear and ballistic activities and stopping support for its group in the Middle East.
The fingers of Washington and Tehran on the trigger... War or settlement
As the conflict in the Middle East intensified, from Syria to Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen to the hottest region of the Gulf, the conflict between Iran and America intensified until the region came to the brink of a major war.
"This form of sanctions constitutes a ferocious and escalating economic war, which has pushed the political authority in Iran through its agencies and the Foreign Ministry to practice the brinkmanship strategy in the face of US actions, and investing power cards," Dr. Iyad Majali, a researcher in international relations and Iranian affairs, told Hawar News Agency. “Whether it is the nuclear deal that the European partners stick to preserving and protecting, as well as the other leverage of Iran's arms in four neighboring countries and the threat it poses as a military force to US interests and air bases in the region, has become in the range of strikes Iranian power, also included Iranian power leaves control and its influence on navigation in the waters of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz is vital."
Majali added, "The strongest card in Iran's priorities is to confront the American escalation. The ruling regime in Tehran announced the gradual steps to reduce the obligations of Iran from the limitations of the nuclear agreement and start to increase the production of enriched uranium by more than what is allowed and then followed by another step." To begin implementing the third step to develop centrifuges and get rid of conventional machines and activate its nuclear program in a way that concerns the United States and its allies. "
This escalation, according to Majali, has brought back the region to the center of tension and drum war between the parties to the crisis, and practiced by Iran to push European partners to carry out their responsibilities towards the nuclear deal and protect it from collapse and push the European Union to break sanctions and pressure the United States to lift economic sanctions.
On the course of events explains Majali "axis of the ongoing conflict between the United States and Iran, supported by active actors, most notably the European Union, including partners in the nuclear agreement, seeking to calm the current escalation.”
European diplomacy has been active in this regard to put political initiatives to push Iran to sit at the table and expand the volume of files and issues that the US administration is still seeking to resolve with the Iranian regime, including its pivotal role in the political crises in neighboring countries and Iran's support for the movement of its arms in the region.
The United States also seeks to tighten the grip of sanctions to force the Iranian political authority to modify its political behavior in its expansion and interference in the affairs of neighboring countries, re - addressing the issue of Iran's ballistic missiles in the most important negotiating files required, and to identify priorities to protect international navigation in the Gulf waters.
The Iranian researcher concludes, "Diplomatic efforts from the international community are moving in the paths of calm and convergence of views, and is on the way to making some progress towards a forthcoming meeting between President Rouhani and President Trump that could dissolve some stalemate in the position of the parties, and achieve the possibility of sitting at the table."
Has Bolton paid the price of a settlement with Iran?
The Trump administration has made several diplomatic moves that contradict the presence of the hawkish John Bolton in the White House administration, which prompted the latter to resign over the past few days, as talk leaked that there are direct negotiations between Washington and Ansar Allah group (Houthis) in Yemen that cannot happen from other than Iran, US media talked that the negotiations are the first episode of a comprehensive settlement with Iran.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stressed that the Iranians want to negotiate. His situation differs from Iranian officials who have difficulty talking about negotiating with Washington (the Great Satan) because they are tied to the doctrine of the Wali al-Faqih and other slogans.
Presidents Trump and Rouhani are expected to meet in the coming period, and it is certain that the debate will not be limited to the nuclear issue, but rather to the conflict in the Middle East, and it is likely that it will not be easy for the two countries to announce quick understandings, but not impossible There should be agreements by stopping the drums of war in the region and secretly negotiating and reaching a comprehensive settlement.