Iran announced on Sunday (local time) that it will no longer adhere to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal negotiated in July 2015 between Iran and six countries including the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany. The decision has been made in the wake of the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, two days ago. The nuclear agreement is in peril once again after U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of it in May 2018.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges,” the Iranian government said in its statement on the day. “Therefore, Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.” Some experts say the U.S. could go ahead with bombing nuclear facilities in Iran in order to prevent the development of nuclear weapons.
President Trump tweeted that the U.S. will strike back in a “disproportionate manner” if Iran hits any U.S. person or target, suggesting a stronger and tougher retaliation. Against this backdrop, the U.S. Department of Defense has decided to deploy a unit from the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment in the Middle East.
A series of attacks supposedly by pro-Iranian militia were carried out on the same day, including three rockets fired near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. The Shiite dominated Iraqi parliament voted to expel U.S. troops in the nation. Even if the Iraqi government accepts the parliament’s decision, the U.S. troops are not likely leave Iraq. President Trump threatened Iraq that it will face punishing sanctions if it pushes the U.S. troops out of the country.
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