Iran-related geopolitical events during Trump Administration (2017-2021)


1/27/2017: Muslim travel ban limiting immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.1BBC, CNN. Iran bewildered, promises to retaliate.7NYT, FT, WaPo, Reuters, CNN, WSJ.

2/3/2017: U.S. sanctions imposed after Iran medium-range ballistic missile test firing.2Guardian, WSJ, NBC, NYT.

2/10/2017: Anti-Trump sentiments grow crowd to “hundreds of thousands” at annual revolution celebration.3Reuters, NBC, WSJ.

Iranians take part in a ceremony marking the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, Iran February 10, 2017. via REUTERS.

2/15/2017: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits White House for first meeting with Trump as president.4White House [Pres.’s remarks], NYT, NBC, WaPo.

2/18/2017: Battle of Persian Gulf II, 88-minute animated film depicting Iranian victory in naval battle with U.S., released.5Reuters, IMDb, IB Times, Bloomberg. Qassem Soleimani is the commander featured.6Reuters

Promotional movie poster for animated film premised on an American attack on Iran ending in U.S. defeat (via IMDb).

2/26/2017: Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad writes “somewhat conciliatory” letter to Trump, applauding his honesty in describing corruption in U.S. political system and electoral structure, complaining of U.S. “dominance” and meddling in foreign affairs, causing “insecurity, war, division, killing, and displacement of nations,” delivered via Swiss Embassy in Tehran.8NBC, Kurdistan24, Politico, AP.

3/14/2017: Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Trump at White House.9White House [readout], NYT., Reuters

President Trump ate lunch with Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and senior aides on Tuesday in the State Dining Room of the White House. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times (3/14/2017).

4/18/2017: U.S. Secretary of State certifies to Congress that Iran remains compliant with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) stipulated in the 2015 nuclear deal, but still orders review.10Reuters, BBC, Arab News

5/17/2017: U.S. announces it will not end Iran nuclear deal for the time being.11BBC, NYT, Al Jazeera.

5/19/2017: Hassan Rouhani, seen as moderate, re-elected President of Iran by wide margin.12BBC, NYT, The Guardian, USA Today.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (2nd L) welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump to dance with a sword during a welcome ceremony at Al Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

5/20/2017: U.S.-Saudi Arabia $110B arms deal signed in Riyadh.13White House [press release], WSJ, Vox, NBC, ABC, WaPo, CNN, Reuters . Boeing Co. signs several defense and commercial deals with KSA for sale of military and passenger aircraft the next day; Chinook helicopters, guided weapons systems, P-8 surveillance aircraft, Boeing 777’s or 787’s.14Reuters.

5/21/2017: During 9-day first foreign trip of presidency, Trump delivers “good and evil” speech to Middle East leaders at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, vilifies Iran as state sponsor and abettor of terrorism.15White House [speech], FT, Reuters[2], CBS [via YouTube]. Iran foreign minister suggests that Trump should discuss with Saudi Arabi how to prevent the next 9/11, while he’s there.16Reuters, Newsweek.

5/25/2017: Iran unveils third underground ballistic missile factory.17Reuters, DW, Business Insider.

6/6/2017: Five suicide bombers and gunmen attack Iranian parliament and mausoleum of Ayatollah Komeini in Tehran, killing at least 13; Iran blames KSA.18Reuters, Wikipedia Islamic State claimed the attack was theirs.19Reuters, NYT, Middle East Monitor

6/17/2017: Trump confirms Iran still complying with nuclear deal, but still a threat.20Reuters.

7/25/2017: USS Thunderbolt, fires warning shots at Iranian vessel that came within 150 yards of the boat and ignored radio calls, flares, and whistle.21Reuters,, USA Today, WSJ .

7/27/2017: Iran successfully tests rocket capable of launching rockets into orbit; US, France, Germany, and Britain complain that it is a breach of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.22Reuters, NYT. U.S. Treasury imposes sanctions on six subsidiary companies of Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group that are allegedly involved in developing equipment that could be used for ballistic missiles.23Reuters.

8/2/2017: Trump signs into law “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” requiring sanctions against (1) Iran’s ballistic missile or weapons of mass destruction programs, (2) the sale or transfer to Iran of military equipment or the provision of related technical or financial assistance, and (3) Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated foreign persons.24White House [statement], CBS, NBC

8/29/2017-9/1/2017: Trump alleges Iran in violation of agreed uranium and heavy water limits, U.N. disagrees;25NYT, WaPo. Iran refuses calls for U.N. inspectors to access military bases;26Reuters, CNN. U.S. public fears Trump will start war.27New Yorker

9/5/2017: U.N. envoy Nikki Haley gives speech signaling U.S. will exit from Iran nuclear deal;28CNN, Axios, WaPo Europe concerned.29Reuters, DW.

9/15/2017: Trump says Iran is violating the ‘spirit’ of the nuclear deal as he re-certifies compliance, plans new sanctions.30ABC, BBC, Reuters, NBC.

9/19/2017: Trump gives speech at 72nd Session of U.N. General Assembly, calls Iran a “murderous regime” that “masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy”; says “Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”; highlights “stark contrast” of “Iranian regime’s support for terror” to the “recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing,” such as Saudi Arabia.31White House [remarks], ABC, C-SPan; Rouhani calls Trump a “rogue newcomer to international politics,” says comments are ignorant and absurd.32AP, BBC

9/23/2017: Iran tests new ballistic missile with range of up to 1,200 miles, defying Trump.33France 24, USA Today.

10/13/2017: Trump de-certifies Iran’s compliance with nuclear deal.34White House [remarks]].

The regime remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and provides assistance to al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist networks. It develops, deploys, and proliferates missiles that threaten American troops and our allies. It harasses American ships and threatens freedom of navigation in the Arabian Gulf and in the Red Sea. It imprisons Americans on false charges. And it launches cyberattacks against our critical infrastructure, financial system, and military.

Remarks by President Trump on Iran Strategy (10/13/2017) (announcing de-certification).

10/29/2017: Iran says Pres. Rouhani turned down a meeting with Trump;35Bloomberg. White House denies the claim.36NBC.

11/5/2017: Trump accuses Iran of firing ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia, Iran Revolutionary Guards deny the claim.37Reuters, Al Jazeera.

12/6/2017: Trump announces U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel and says building of new embassy there is in the works;38AP, BBC, WSJ Rouhani says that Muslim countries should band together to support Palestinians.39Reuters.

12/12/2017: U.S. and Israel reach joint agreement on rules of engagement for countering Iranian influence in the Middle East.40Axios, Times of Israel

12/31/2017-1/2/2018: Protests rage in Iran, Trump gleeful, supportive of protesters.41AP, CNN, NYT, New Yorker, Politico, Reuters, USA Today.


1/3/2018: Iran deploys Revolutionary Guards troops to end “sedition,” antigovernment unrest after 6 days of protests over economic conditions endured by youth and working class.42Reuters, DW, BBC.

5/8/2018: Trump announces withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal.43NYT, NBC, BBC, CNN.

5/14/2018: U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem opens, relocated from previous site in Tel Aviv.44White House


1/8/2019: Netherlands, France, and Denmark accuse Iran of planning assassination operations on European soil; EU imposes sanctions on Iranian intelligence unit and two of its staff.45Reuters. Dutch accuse Iran of assassination of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin, one in 2015 in Almere, the other in 2017 in Hague.46NYT, Reuters. Iran accuses Europe of harboring Mujahedeen Khalq (M.E.K., Iranian dissident group).47Reuters.


1/3/2020: U.S. airstrike at Baghdad airport ordered by Trump kills Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.48WSJ, AP, NYT.

Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!

Donald J. Trump, Pres., 1/4/2020 (via Twitter).

4/1/2020: Trump warns that Iran will pay a “heavy price” if it carries out sneak attack plots, which Iran denies are brewing, supposedly being planned by Iran or its proxies.49Forbes, Bloomberg, WSJ.

9/19/2020: US re-imposes sanctions on Iran, causes tension with allies.50USA Today, NBC, CNBC, Politico.

References   [ + ]

1. BBC, CNN.
2. Guardian, WSJ, NBC, NYT.
3. Reuters, NBC, WSJ.
4. White House [Pres.’s remarks], NYT, NBC, WaPo.
5. Reuters, IMDb, IB Times, Bloomberg.
6. Reuters
7. NYT, FT, WaPo, Reuters, CNN, WSJ.
8. NBC, Kurdistan24, Politico, AP.
9. White House [readout], NYT., Reuters
10. Reuters, BBC, Arab News
11. BBC, NYT, Al Jazeera.
12. BBC, NYT, The Guardian, USA Today.
13. White House [press release], WSJ, Vox, NBC, ABC, WaPo, CNN, Reuters .
14. Reuters.
15. White House [speech], FT, Reuters[2], CBS [via YouTube].
16. Reuters, Newsweek.
17. Reuters, DW, Business Insider.
18. Reuters, Wikipedia
19. Reuters, NYT, Middle East Monitor
20. Reuters.
21. Reuters,, USA Today, WSJ .
22. Reuters, NYT.
23. Reuters.
24. White House [statement], CBS, NBC
25. NYT, WaPo.
26. Reuters, CNN.
27. New Yorker
28. CNN, Axios, WaPo
29. Reuters, DW.
30. ABC, BBC, Reuters, NBC.
31. White House [remarks], ABC, C-SPan
32. AP, BBC
33. France 24, USA Today.
34. White House [remarks]].
35. Bloomberg.
36. NBC.
37. Reuters, Al Jazeera.
38. AP, BBC, WSJ
39. Reuters.
40. Axios, Times of Israel
41. AP, CNN, NYT, New Yorker, Politico, Reuters, USA Today.
42. Reuters, DW, BBC.
44. White House
45. Reuters.
46. NYT, Reuters.
47. Reuters.
48. WSJ, AP, NYT.
49. Forbes, Bloomberg, WSJ.
50. USA Today, NBC, CNBC, Politico.

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