Before President Trump ordered the strike that killed Iranian military commander and terrorist mastermind Qassem Soleimani, the U.S. and Iran had already been in a state of undeclared war for 40 years.
The conflict began on Nov. 4, 1979, when Iranian radicals seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
In 1983, the Iranians attacked a U.S. Embassy and a Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 American and French peace-keeping forces as they slept.
This undeclared war led to direct military confrontation in Iraq, where Iranians killed over 1,000 American troops with improvised explosive devices. Unbelievably, in the face of this Iranian escalation, the Obama administration promised Iran a nuclear deal and gave them $1.7 billion in cash hoping this would lead to peace.
Instead, the Iranians developed a nuclear weapons
program, and used the money to fund terrorist wars in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, all while continually targeting U.S. forces.
Thankfully, President Trump left the failed nuclear deal and responded to Iranian aggression with a maximum pressure campaign of economic sanctions meant to stifle Iran’s war making capability. The sanctions resulted in civil unrest and mass protests against the Iranian regime. Facing a possible revolt, Iran chose to escalate attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq hoping we would back down in fear and give them much needed sanctions relief.
In an incredibly bold move, President Trump ordered the termination of Soleimani as he arrived in Iraq to carry out more terror attacks. The strike was a decisive blow and has Iran terrified.
Diplomatic negotiations are near. Expect Iran to seek de-escalation. Fears of war are overblown as Iran has never been weaker and prospects for peace have never been closer.
Rene Ortega Weslaco