Home News As America awaits Lacey’s fate, several confrontations are brewing

As America awaits Lacey’s fate, several confrontations are brewing

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Even before Sunday’s announcement that a helicopter believed to be carrying Iran’s president had crashed, relations between Tehran and the United States had been dangerously close to open conflict. What happens in the coming days — whether President Ibrahim Raisi and other leaders survive, and what Iran claims was the cause of the crash — is likely to determine whether the two countries can feel their way out of several simultaneous crises.

In the long run, the most important fight is the one centered on Iran’s nuclear program.The plan has been largely contained after negotiations by the Obama administration 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.But President Donald J. Trump condemned and Abandoned the transaction Six years ago, Iran finally resumed production of nuclear fuel – enriched just below the level needed to produce a few bombs.

Mr Lacey’s exact role in Tehran’s key decisions about Iran’s nuclear strategy has been a contentious issue. The program is controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which itself is the center of power. But U.S. officials say efforts to negotiate nearly collapsed after nearly reaching a deal with Iran through European intermediaries two years ago.

Just last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, who was also believed to be on the helicopter, Meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi He demanded better access to Iran’s vast nuclear complex.

Questions over its nuclear program and whether Iran will seek weapons or exploit its status as a threshold country that can quickly produce weapons loom over other, more regional confrontations.when iran 300 missiles and drones launched towards Israel The U.S. shot it down last month in coordination with Israeli and other regional forces.But the whole exchange calmed down after a while Israel’s response has been relatively mild” is a reminder that under Mr. Lacey the country has significantly expanded its missile program and its reach and is moving toward technology designed to overwhelm Israeli defenses, a possible lesson from the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Iran is arming the Houthis — the Shia militants who have seized much of northern Yemen and attacking shipping in the Red Sea — and providing them with intelligence on at least one Iranian ship. It is supplying arms and technology to Hamas and Hezbollah, efforts that have also expanded under Mr. Lacey. U.S. officials have recently warned that they expect Iranian hacking to increase as the presidential election approaches.

“Iran’s actions are becoming increasingly aggressive,” Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. It seeks “to foment discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions, as we have seen in previous election cycles.”

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