The United States sends over 3,000 more US soldiers to the Middle East as tensions with Iran heighten.
Sources: NBC News
Sources: NBC News
Thousands of Iraqis demand American forces withdraw from the country during protests in Liberation Square, Baghdad, a year after an American drone strike killed Iran's general Qasem Soleimani and Iraq's militia commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The anniversary of their deaths in Baghdad was also marked in Iran as well as by supporters in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and other Middle East countries.
Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly formally designates the United States Department of Defense as a "terrorist organization" in response to the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani in a targeted killing in Baghdad, Iraq. Under the newly adopted bill, all United States Armed Forces personnel and Pentagon employees are "considered terrorists."
Acting United States Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan authorizes the deployment of approximately 1,000 additional U.S. troops to the Middle East region "for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats" amid increased tensions with Iran. The move comes four days after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman incident.
The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) issues a new alert to all ships passing Fujairah, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on the Gulf of Oman over "acts of sabotage" amid heightened regional tensions between the United States and Iran.
United States President Barack Obama, at the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Saudi Arabia, says the United States will continue to deter and confront aggression against Gulf Arab states; joins others in warning the fragile cease-fire in Syria is on the verge of collapse; pledges vigilance about Iran's destabilizing activities in the Middle East; wants Gulf allies to offer more democratic reforms and improve human rights; and, says the U.S. and its Gulf partners should wait to see whether Iraq can resolve its political crisis before committing more financial aid which is impeding the fight against ISIL.
Reuters reports the United States and its European allies have notified the UN that Iran's launching of nuclear-capable missiles violated United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 which endorsed the Iran deal, i.e., the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last year.
Iran releases four Iranian-American prisoners including "Washington Post" reporter Jason Rezaian and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini. The United States is to release seven Iranian-Americans held in the United States for violating sanctions against Iran.
Shahram Amiri, the Iranian nuclear scientist allegedly abducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency, leaves U.S. soil: Iran states it will continue to pursue the case "legally and diplomatically".
Israel rejects call to take part in a conference aimed at achieving a nuclear-arms free Middle East, citing the document agreed to at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty talks in which Israel was singled out, but which did not mention Iran, widely suspected of having a nuclear-weapons program, or declared nuclear states India and Pakistan, who have not signed the treaty.
President of the United States Barack Obama announces that the United States will pursue aggressive sanctions to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon that could potentially spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.