Iran and the USA have a tortuous relationship that started worsening from 1979 when the Iranians stormed the US embassy and took over a 100 Americans as hostages. The antagonism is mutual and despite the best of efforts and sanctions, the Iranian regime has not collapsed. It started an aggressive nuclear program which alarmed America and its allies. President Obama was alive to the danger of an Iranian nuclear program and got into an agreement to rein in the program in return for the lifting of the sanctions. It has not really helped as Iran has gone ahead and tested an ICBM.

President trump has imposed fresh sanctions and also announced that he could consider other actions as well. He is now joined by general Mattis who heads the 1.3 million strong American military machine. Mattis was eased out by Obama just 10 months back because he had an Iran fixation. Now he is back as the defense secretary. With Mattis back and Trump is known for his antagonism to Iran, the situation is volatile and could lead even to war.

Strike on Iran

Mattis is now joined by another hawk, McMaster as the advisor for security. The duo along with Trump could decide on a strike on Iran. They are building up a Sunni coalition along with Saudi Arabia, Trump has all along stated that he has all options on his table, including the military option.

General Mattis when he was eased out had clearly stated that Iran was an enemy and he was against the nuclear deal. Now he is back and in a position of authority. He may well be motivated to advise the president for a strike on Iran.

Bush committed a big mistake in striking at Saddam in Iraq and the net result is that Iraq is still unstable and thousands of uS soldiers have died to chase a dream.

Taking out Iran won't be easy as Russia which has a contagious border with Iran is also a factor. Both the generals are also antagonistic to Russia, so the cauldron is red hot.

The future

It will be interesting to see how Trump reacts. He must keep his head on his shoulders and remember the lessons of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. They badly affected the US economy. Another misadventure in the middle east may well sink the US economy.