Americans have been fed a simplified tale about Iran and Soleimani — it’s time to rewrite that

Context for the Soleimani death is important. So let’s talk about why Iran is really angry with America

Carli Pierson
More major news came out of Iran and Iraq over the weekend. Overnight thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Tehran to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq last week while part of an official envoy sent to help elect a new Iraqi prime minister. On Sunday, the Iraqi parliament approved a humiliating resolution to expel American troops from Iraq after the US assassination. Meanwhile, Iran’s government announced yesterday that it would be pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Nuclear Deal was brokered by the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany – also known as the P5+1 — and finalized in 2015 under the Obama administration. In Sunday’s announcement, Iranian officials said while they would continue to work with the UN, they wouldn’t adhere to any limits on the amount of uranium they could enrich, nor would they limit nuclear research and development. Iran conditioned its return to the original terms of the deal on the US dropping sanctions.

The US was the first to walk away from the deal in 2018, saying the JCOPA didn’t address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in regional conflicts. When I asked Rutgers University professor of Middle Eastern studies, Dr Neda Bolourchi, about the tension between the two nations after the US left the deal, she told me: “Iran has every right to be angry… Tehran engaged in good faith negotiations with the P5+1… When it found out that the full benefits of that agreement would not be forthcoming because the US still listed the country under terror sanctions the government was frustrated again…The US could have worked with Iran in a different way.”

But the White House didn’t stop there – it reinstated sanctions from before the 2015 deal. …


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