Ever since its founding as a nation nearly 250 years ago, the US has pursued a destructive, imperialistic, and aggressive policy towards the Middle East. This history of US intervention in the Middle East illustrates the lengths to which the US power elites have gone to gain and maintain US domination in the region. Here is a brief history discussing the evolution of US policy regarding the Middle East:
1777: Under the leadership of Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdallah, Morocco becomes the first Middle Eastern country to recognize the US as an independent country. Morocco and the US established formal diplomatic ties in 1786 through the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship and developed a close relationship that continues to this day.
1801-1815: The US intervenes alongside Sweden and the Kingdom of Sicily in the Barbary Wars, an undeclared series of conflicts with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle Eastern countries of Algeria, Tunis, and Libya in response to a series of pirate attack against US ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Even though the wars did not completely end the acts of piracy against American vessels, it proved that the US was capable of waging war, if necessary, in places far from its own shores.
1834: US President Andrew Jackson authorizes the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to send Christian missionaries to the Iranian provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, Hamadan, and Fars. Despite the fact that many of the missionaries held the belief that their actions would improve Iranian society, the true intention of these missions was to establish a US foothold in the region and to weaken the dominant religions of Iran.
May 26, 1875: Mirza Mohammad Ali (better known as Hajj Sayyah), a noted world traveler and democratic political activist become the first person of Middle Eastern descent to become a US citizen. Born in the Iranian province of Markazi in 1836, Sayyah first arrived in the US in 1862, after three years of traveling through Europe and Central Asia. During his stay in the US, Sayyah briefly served in the Union Army during the Civil War and developed a friendship with President Ulysses Grant. After gaining American citizenship, Sayyeh returned to Iran in 1891 and was imprisoned for having instigated a clandestine letter-writing campaign to the Qajar monarch and clergy regarding the unbearable living conditions and lack of political freedom in Iran. After his release, he sought the protection of the US legation in Tehran, which denied him that privilege despite his service in the Union Army during the Civil War and friendship with well-known US political figures.
1920-1928: The US pressures the UK (at the time the dominant Middle Eastern power) into signing a “Red Line Agreement” stating that Middle Eastern oil will not be developed by any single power without the participation of other Western powers such as France, Germany, and Italy. Standard Oil and Mobil obtain shares of the Iraq Petroleum Company due to the agreement.
1932-1938: Oil is discovered in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. American oil companies soon obtain concessions that allow them to access the oil.
1944: The US State Department memo refers to Middle Eastern oil as, “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.” During US-British negotiations over the control of Middle Eastern oil, President Franklin Roosevelt sketches out a map of the Middle East and tells the British Ambassador, “Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it’s ours.” On August 8, 1944, the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement is signed, splitting Middle Eastern oil between the US and the UK.
1945-Present: The US has wholeheartedly supported the brutal government of Saudi Arabia with billions of dollars in financial, military, and technological aid, as well as continued purchasing of Saudi oil. This support has encouraged the Saudi government to expand the oppressive ideology of Wahhabism to neighboring countries and to continually oppress their own people in a manner similar to European rulers during the Dark Ages.
1946: US President Harry Truman threatens to drop an atomic bomb on the Soviet Union if it does not withdraw from the Kurdistan and Azerbaijan regions of Iran. The Soviet Union subsequently obeyed US demands.
November 1947: The US helps push through a UN resolution partitioning Palestine into a Zionist state (which came to be known as Israel) and an Arab state, giving the Jewish authorities control of 54% of the land. At that time Jewish settlers were about 33% of the population.
May 14, 1948: War breaks out between the newly proclaimed state of Israel, and Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria, who had moved troops into Palestine to oppose the partition of Palestine. The Israeli forces attack some 800,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of the population, to flee into exile to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza, and the West Bank. Israel seizes 77 percent of historic Palestine. US President Harry Truman quickly recognizes Israel and authorizes the sending of military aid to the new country.
March 29, 1949: CIA backs a military coup overthrowing the elected government of Syria and establishes a military dictatorship under Colonel Za’im.
1952: US-led military alliance expands into the Middle East with the admission of Turkey and Greece to NATO.
1953: The US, UK, and Israel organize a coup overthrowing the Mossadegh government of Iran after Mossadegh nationalizes British holdings in Iran’s huge oilfields. The Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, is put on the throne, ruling as an absolute monarch for the next 25 years, torturing, killing (at least 160,000) and imprisoning (as many as three million) of his political opponents.
July 1956: After Egypt’s nationalist leader, Gamal Abdul Nasser, receives arms from the Soviet Union, the US withdraws promised funding for Aswan Dam, Egypt’s main development project. A week later Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal to fund the project. In October, the UK, France, and Israel invaded Egypt to retake the Suez Canal. President Eisenhower threatens to use nuclear weapons if the Soviet Union intervenes on Egypt’s side; and at the same time, the US asserts its regional dominance by forcing the UK, France, and Israel to withdraw from Egypt.
October 1956: A planned CIA coup to overthrow a left-leaning government in Syria is aborted because it was scheduled for the same day Israel, Britain, and France invaded Egypt.
March 9, 1957: Congress approves Eisenhower Doctrine, stating, “the United States regards as vital to the national interest and world peace the preservation of the independence and integrity of the nations of the Middle East.”
April 1957: After anti-government rioting breaks out in Jordan, the US rushes 6th fleet to the eastern Mediterranean and lands a battalion of Marines in Lebanon to “prepare for possible future intervention in Jordan.” Later that year, the CIA begins making secret payments of millions of dollars a year to Jordan’s King Hussein.
September 1957: In response to the Syrian government’s more nationalist and pro-Soviet policies, the US sends Sixth Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean and rushes arms to allies Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
1958: The merger of Syria and Egypt into the “United Arab Republic,” the overthrow of the pro-US King Feisal II in Iraq by nationalist military officers, and the outbreak of anti-government/anti-US rioting in Lebanon, where the CIA had helped install President Camille Caiman and keep him in power, leads the Eisenhower Administration to dispatch 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft and 14,000 Marines to Lebanon to preserve “stability.” The US threatens to use nuclear weapons if the Lebanese army resists, and to prevent an Iraqi move into the oilfields of Kuwait and draws up secret plans for a joint invasion of Iraq with Turkey. The plan is shelved after the Soviet Union threatens to intervene.
1957-58: Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA agent in charge of the 1953 coup in Iran, plots, without success, to overthrow Egypt’s Nasser. Between July 1957 and October 1958, the Egyptian and Syrian governments and media announced the uncovering of what appear to be at least eight separate conspiracies to overthrow one or the other government, to assassinate Nasser, and/or prevent the expected merger of the two countries.
1960: The US begins working to undermine the new government of Iraq by supporting anti-government Kurdish rebels and by attempting, unsuccessfully, to assassinate Iraq’s leader, Abdul Karim Qassim, an army general who had restored relations with the Soviet Union and lifted the ban on Iraq’s Communist Party.
1963: The US supports a coup in Iraq by the Ba’ath party (headed by Saddam Hussein) to overthrow the Qassim regime, including by giving the Ba’ath names of communists to murder. “Armed with the names and whereabouts of individual communists, the national guards carried out summary executions. Communists held in detention…were dragged out of prison and shot without a hearing… [B]y the end of the rule of the Ba’ath, its terror campaign had claimed the lives of an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 communists.”
1966: The US sells its first jet bombers to Israel, breaking a 1956 decision not to sell arms to the country.
June 1967: With US weapons and support, Israeli military launches the so-called “Six Day War,” seizing the remaining 23 percent of historic Palestine, the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, along with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Syria’s Golan Heights.
September 17, 1970: With US and Israeli backing, Jordanian troops attack Palestinian guerrilla camps, while Jordan’s US-supplied air force drops napalm from above. The US deploys the aircraft carrier Independence and six destroyers off the coast of Lebanon and readies troops in Turkey to support the assault. The US threatens to use nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union if it intervenes. 5,000 Palestinians are killed and 20,000 wounded. This massacre comes to be known as “Black September.”
1973: The US rushes $2 billion in emergency military aid to Israel after Egypt and Syria attack to regain Golan Heights and Sinai. The Nixon Administration puts US forces on alert and moves them into the region. When the Soviet Union threatens to intervene to prevent the destruction of Egypt’s 3rd Army by Israel, US nuclear forces go to DEFCON III (nuclear alert) to force the Soviets to back down.
1973-1975: The US supports Kurdish rebels in Iraq in order to strengthen Iran and weaken the Iraqi government under the leadership of Saddam Hussein. When Iran and Iraq cut a deal, the US withdraws support, denies the Kurds refuge in Iran, and stands by while Saddam Hussein kills many Kurdish people.
1976-1984: The US supports paramilitary forces to undermine the government of South Yemen, which was allied with the Soviet Union.
1978: As the Iranian Revolution begins against the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the US and Israel continue to support him “without reservation” and urge him to act forcefully against the masses. Over the course of 1978, security forces loyal to the Shah kill between 2,000-60,000 innocent civilians, including a large number during a September 8, 1978 protest against the Shah in Tehran’s Jaleh Square. Additionally, the US and Israel supplied the Iranian Army with chemical weapons that were deployed on a small scale against protesters in the Iranian cities of Qom and Mashhad.
Early 1979: The Carter Administration tries, without success, to organize a military coup to save the Shah. In January, the Shah is forced to flee and is replaced by Shapour Bakhtiar, a weak, pro-US puppet leader. Bakhtiar is subsequently forced from office by Ayatollah Khomeini on February 14, 1979. Khomeini, who promised to bring about democracy to the country, as well as to stand up against the ideology of Zionism, immediately becomes a hated figure amongst US political elites.
Summer 1979: The US begins arming and organizing Islamic fundamentalist “Mujahideen” in Afghanistan. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski writes, “This aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention,” drawing the Soviets into an Afghan quagmire. Over the next decade, the US passed more than $3 billion in arms and aid to the Mujahideen, with another $3 billion provided by Saudi Arabia.
1979: In response to Soviet military maneuvers on Iran’s northern border, President Jimmy Carter secretly puts US forces on nuclear alert and warns the Soviets they will be used if the Soviets intervene.
November 4, 1979: A group of Iranian students seized control of the US embassy in Tehran in response to allegations that the US was planning out a coup to return the Shah to power. The students demand the US return the Shah to Iran to stand trial for his crimes against the Iranian people. The Embassy and 52 US personnel are held for 444 days. This international embarrassment prompts new US actions against Iran, including an abortive rescue attempt.
December 1979: Soviet troops invade Afghanistan, which the US government considered a “buffer state” between the Soviet Union to the north and the strategically important states of Iran and Pakistan to the south, overthrowing the Amin government and installing a pro-Soviet regime.
January 1980: US President Jimmy Carter designates the Persian Gulf a vital US interest and declares that the US will go to war to ensure the free flow of oil.
1980: The US begins organizing a “Rapid Deployment Force,” increasing its naval presence and pre-positioning military equipment and supplies. It also steps up aid to reactionary client states such as Turkey, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. On September 12, Turkey’s military seizes power and unleashes a brutal clampdown on revolutionaries and Kurds struggling for liberation in order to “stabilize” the country as a key US ally.
September 22, 1980: After a year of minor border skirmishes, Iraq invades Iran with the support of the US and Israel, starting a bloody eight-year war. The US supports both sides in the war providing arms to Iran and money, intelligence and political support to Iraq in order to prolong the war and weaken both sides while trying to draw both countries into US orbit.
1981: The US holds military maneuvers off the coast of Libya to intimidate the Qaddafi government. When a Libyan plane fires a missile at US planes penetrating Libyan airspace, two Libyan planes are shot down.
1982: After receiving a “green light” from the Reagan Administration, Israel invades Lebanon to fight against both the Shi’a Muslims of Lebanon, as well as the large population of Palestinian refugees that resided in Lebanon. Over 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians are killed, and Israel seizes control of Southern Lebanon, holding it until 2000.
September 14, 1982: Lebanon’s pro-US President-elect, Bashir al-Jumayyil, is assassinated. The following day, Israeli forces occupy West Beirut, and from September 16-18, the Phalangist militia, with the support of Israel’s military under future Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, move into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps and barbarically massacre over 1,000 unarmed Palestinian men, women, and children.
1983: The US sends troops to Lebanon, supposedly as part of a multinational “peace-keeping” operation but in reality to protect US interests, including Israel’s occupation forces. US troops are withdrawn after an Iran-backed bomber destroys a US Marine barracks in October of 1983.
1983: CIA helps murder General Ahmed Dlimi, a prominent Moroccan Army commander who seeks to overthrow the pro-US Moroccan monarchy, then under the leadership of King Hassan II.
1985-1986: The Reagan Administration secretly ships weapons to Iran, including 1,000 TOW anti-tank missiles, Hawk missile parts, and Hawk radars. The weapons are exchanged for US hostages in Lebanon, and in hopes of increased US leverage in Iran. The secret plot collapses when it is publicly revealed on November 3, 1986, by the Lebanese magazine, Al-Shiraa.
1985: The CIA attempts to assassinate Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese Shi’a leader. 80 people are killed in the unsuccessful attempt.
1986: When a bomb goes off in a Berlin nightclub and kills two Americans, US President Ronald Reagan blames Libya’s Qaddafi and orders the US military to strike Libyan military facilities, residential areas of Tripoli and Benghazi, and Qaddafi’s house, killing 101 people, including Qaddafi’s adopted daughter.
1987-88: The US Navy is dispatched to the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from cutting off Iraq’s oil shipments. During one of these patrols on July 3, 1988, a US ship shoots down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing all 290 onboard. In response to the attack, the US government awarded the ship’s commander, William C. Rogers III, the Legion of Merit and refused to compensate the families of the victims despite and ICJ ruling ordering them to do so.
1988: The Iraqi regime launches mass poison-gas attacks on Kurds, killing thousands and bulldozing many villages. The US responds by increasing its support for the Iraqi regime.
July 1988: A cease-fire ends the Iran-Iraq war with a pyrrhic Iranian victory. Over 1 million Iranians and Iraqis are killed during the nine-year war.
1989: The last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan. The war, fueled by US-Soviet rivalry, has torn Afghanistan apart, killing more than one million Afghans and forcing one-third of the population to flee into refugee camps. More than 15,000 Soviet soldiers die in the war.
July 1990: April Glaspie, the US Ambassador to Iraq, meets with Saddam Hussein, who threatens military action against Kuwait for overproducing its oil quota, slant drilling for oil in Iraqi territory, and encroaching on Iraqi territory. Glaspie replies, “We have no opinion on the Arab- Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.”
August 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. The US seizes the moment to assert its hegemony in the post-Soviet world and strengthen its grip on the Persian Gulf. The US condemns Iraq, rejects a diplomatic settlement, imposes sanctions, and prepares for an all-out military assault on Iraq.
January 16, 1991: After a 6-month military buildup, the US-led coalition launches “Operation Desert Storm.” For the next month and a half, the US and allied planes pound Iraq, dropping 88,000 tons of bombs, systematically targeting and largely destroying its electrical and water systems. On February 22, 1991, the US coalition begins its 100-hour ground war. Heavily armed US units drive deep into southern Iraq. Overall, 100,000 to 200,000 Iraqis are killed during the war.
Spring 1991: Both the Shi’a Muslims of Southern Iraq and the Kurds of Northern Iraq rise up against Saddam Hussein. The US, after encouraging these uprisings during the war, now fears turmoil and instability in the region and refuses to support the rebels. The US denies the rebels access to captured Iraqi weapons and allows Iraqi helicopters to attack them.
1991: Iraq withdraws from Kuwait and agrees to a UN-brokered cease-fire, but the US and Britain insist that devastating sanctions be maintained. The US declares large parts of north and south Iraq “no-fly” zones for Iraqi aircraft.
1992: US Marines land near Mogadishu, Somalia, supposedly to ensure humanitarian relief and “restore order.” But the US also plans to remove the dominant warlord, Mohammed Aidid, and install a more pro-US regime. In June 1993, after numerous gun battles with Aidid forces, US helicopters strafe Aidid supporters, killing scores. In October, when US forces attempt to kidnap two Aidid lieutenants, a fierce gunbattle breaks out. Five US helicopters are shot down, 18 US soldiers killed and 73 wounded, while 500 to 1000 Somalians are killed and many more injured.
March 1992: Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney drafts a new, post-Soviet “Defense Planning Guidance” paper stating, “In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve US and Western access to the region’s oil.”
1993: The US brokers a “peace” agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization at Oslo, Norway. The agreement strengthens Israel and US domination while leaving Palestinians a small part of their historic homeland, broken up into isolated pieces surrounded by Israel. No provisions are made for the return of the four million Palestinian refugees living outside of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
1993: President Bill Clinton launches a missile attack on Iraq, claiming self-defense against an alleged assassination attempt on former President George H.W. Bush two months earlier.
1995: The US imposes oil and trade sanctions against Iran, reinforcing sanctions that have been in effect since 1980, for alleged sponsorship of “terrorism”, seeking to acquire nuclear arms, and hostility to the Middle East process.
1998: Congress passes the Iraq Liberation Act, giving nearly $100 million to groups attempting to overthrow the Hussein regime.
August 1998: Claiming retaliation for attacks on US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, President Bill Clinton sends 75 cruise missiles pounding into rural Afghanistan, supposedly targeting Osama Bin Laden. The US also destroys a factory producing half of Sudan’s pharmaceutical supply, claiming the factory is involved in chemical warfare. The US later acknowledges there is no evidence for the chemical warfare charge.
December 16-19, 1998: The US and the UK launch “Operation Desert Fox” a bombing campaign supposedly aimed at destroying Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. For most of the next year, U.S. and British planes strike Iraq every day with missiles.
October 1999: The US Defense Department shifts command of its forces in Central Asia from the Pacific Command to the Central Command, underlining the heightened importance of the region, which includes vast oil reserves in and around the Caspian Sea.
October 2001: In response to the 9/11 Attacks, the US begins bombing Afghanistan, as the first act of war in “Operation Enduring Freedom,” the US “war against global terrorism. Over the course of the nearly 17-year-long war, thousands of civilians have been killed by US-led invasion and occupation forces who bombed wedding parties, humiliated Afghans with house-to-house searches, and locked people up in US-controlled dungeons where many were tortured. Today the US still has “advisory” troops in the country to try to prop up its puppet regime. Some five million Afghans have been driven from their homes and have fled to neighboring countries such as Iran, Pakistan, India, and Russia.
January 2002: In his second State of the Union Address, US President George W. Bush announces that Iran and Iraq are part of the so-called “Axis of Evil,” arguing that both countries are sponsorers of terrorism and represent profound threats to US national security.
2002: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, under pressure from the Bush Administration, rejects the Arab Peace Initiative, a comprehensive proposal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and create a lasting and just peace in the Middle East.
March 2003: The US attacks Iraq based on false allegations that Iraq is in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and played a direct role in the 9/11 attacks. The invasion resulted in the removal of Saddam Hussien from power and devastated Iraq. Conservative estimates show that over 150,000 Iraqi civilians were killed as a result of the invasion. Over four million were driven from their homes in the ensuing war and occupation. Over the course of its 8-year long occupation of Iraq, US forces committed numerous massacres and acts of terror against Iraqis, including the destruction of Fallujah in 2004 and the torture carried out in Abu Ghraib prison. The US relied on brutal warlords to help clamp down on the Iraqi people. Iraqi women, once among the most educated in the Middle East, were slammed back into subservient roles in society. The actions of the US directly led to the rise of ISIS, a Wahhabi-inspired militant group that has claimed responsibility for numerous atrocities in Iraq since 2011.
May 2003: The Bush Administration rejects an offer by the Iranian government to begin direct talks to settle the disputes between both countries. Instead, the US government doubles down on its allegations that Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons program and is supportive of violent militant groups throughout the Middle East.
February 2006: After the resounding victory of Hamas in the Palestinian General Election, President George W. Bush authorizes sanctions against the Palestinian Authority and refuses to negotiate with the legitimately-elected government of Palestine
July-August 2006: The Bush Administration backs Israel during the Israel-Hezbollah War, repeatedly urging Israel to annex the Southern part of Lebanon and use all means at its disposal to destroy Hezbollah, an Iranian and Syrian-backed Shi’a group that is strongly opposed to Zionism. Even though Israel had the upper hand in terms of military support and technology, Hezbollah ultimately won the war and cemented its support amongst the Shi’a Muslims of Lebanon.
December 2008-January 2009: The US increases its political and military support to Israel during Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli invasion resulted in the deaths of some 2,000 Palestinian civilians and created a humanitarian crisis in the area that the effects of which are still being felt today.
June 4, 2009: In a speech in Cairo, Egypt, President Barack Obama states that his administration would work towards increasing democracy in the Middle East and support efforts by people throughout the Middle East to promote peaceful political reforms.
June 2009-February 2010: In response to allegations that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was unfairly elected to a second term, President Obama authorizes CIA director Leon Panetta to orchestrate a series of (failed) protests in Iran with the goal of bringing about the collapse of the government of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and to allow the US to install Reza Pahlavi into power.
July 1, 2010: President Obama signs into law that the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, which extended US economic sanctions placed on Iran in 1980 and 1995 and prevents nearly all trade between the US and Iran. The results of the legislation were devastating to the Iranian people, as they prevented the importation of even the most basic forms of medicine to the country and resulted in the Iranian economy almost entirely collapsing between 2010 and 2015.
October 20, 2010: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that the Obama Administration will sell $60 billion in weapons and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia, a direct contradiction of President Obama’s earlier announcement that his administration would reduce its support for oppressive governments in the Middle East.
2011: After an uprising broke out against Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi during the Arab Spring, the US and its NATO allies intervened to shape and control it for their own interests. NATO launched thousands of air strikes, killing thousands of civilians. After Qaddafi was murdered by a group of insurgents in October of 2011, Libya became enmeshed in warfare among rival groups of warlords and Wahabbi groups who have been variously backed and condemned by Western powers.
2011-Present: The US, Israel, the UK, and Saudi Arabia have played a major role in the Syrian Civil War and their actions have destabilized the entire country for decades. The US-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War has resulted in the deaths of some 500,000 civilians, displaced nearly 12 million Syrians, and has emboldened Wahhabi-inspired militant groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda to carry out attacks against Shi’a Muslims and Christians throughout the region. Additionally, the US intervention in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad has resulted in several of Assad’s major allies such as Iran, Russia, China, and Hezbollah intervening in the country, which has increased the risk for a major global conflict to break out in the Middle East
July 3, 2013: The Obama Administration authorizes a coup against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi due to his criticism of US policies in the region and opposition to Zionism. Morsi is replaced by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a pro-Western Egyptian general who has suspended the 2012 Egyptian Constitution and repeatedly tortured regime opponents.
July-August 2014: The Obama Administration endorsed Israel’s actions during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 10,000 Palestinian civilians. Additionally, the Obama Administration authorized some $225 million in aid to Israel over the course of the conflict.
March 2015-Present: The US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States have been heavily involved in the Yemen Civil War. The Yemen Civil War began as a result of conflicts between the Sunni-dominated Yemeni government and the Houthis, a Shi’a political party that seeks to replace the authoritarian government of Yemen with a democratic government. The US-led intervention in the conflict caused the deaths of nearly 100,000 Yemeni civilians, devastated the infrastructure of Yemen, and resulted in a famine that threatens to starve some 17 million Yemeni people.
January 27, 2017: US President Donald Trump signs an executive order arbitrarily banning Shi’a Muslims from the following seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya) from entering into the US, arguing that such a policy is beneficial to US national security and that residents from all seven countries were involved in terror attacks on US soil. Foreign policy experts were quick to note that residents from the seven countries were never involved in any attacks on US soil and that such a policy ignores the fact that the perpetrators in all terror attacks carried out in the US by Muslims were Sunni Muslims sympathetic to the Wahhabi ideology.
February 2017: President Trump announces that his administration is supportive of Israeli settlement-building in the Palestinian territories and that he would favor the Israeli government to annex the entire Palestinian territory.
April 7, 2017: The Trump Administration ordered the US Navy to launch cruise missiles at Shayrat Air Base in response to an alleged chemical attack carried out by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Further airstrikes in Syria were carried out in April and September of 2018 despite the fact that there was no tangible evidence implicating the Assad regime in any of the chemical attacks.
May 20-21, 2017: While attending the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Trump announces his signing a $350 billion arms sale agreement with Saudi Arabia, as well as the formation of an anti-Iran alliance with the Gulf States.
June 7, 2017: The US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel covertly carry out a terrorist attack against the Iranian Parliament building in Tehran, resulting in the deaths of 23 civilians. Even though ISIS initially claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Iranian government revealed that it had evidence that the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia were the perpetrators of the deadly attack.
October 13, 2017: President Trump announced that his administration will not certify Iran in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and would instead implement a new policy that may ultimately lead to the collapse of the current Iranian government.
December 6, 2017: Breaking nearly four decades of precedence set by US Administrations, President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite objections from Palestinian leaders, causing further unrest in the region.
December 2017-Present: The US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel orchestrated numerous protests within Iran with the goal of weakening the Iranian government.
May 8, 2018: President Trump unilaterally withdraws the US from the JCPOA, claiming (without evidence) that Iran is not upholding its end of the agreement and is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon (a charge that has been proven false numerous times since 2003). Additionally, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that regime change is the main goal of all US policy towards Iran and that the US will consider all military options (including the use of nuclear weapons preemptively) when dealing with Iran going forward.