WASHINGTON–On Saturday, Iran announced a travel ban on all U.S. citizens, according to Reuters. Only one year since the historic Iran Nuclear Deal was implemented, relations between Washington and Tehran seem to be unexpectedly souring.
“While respecting the American people…Iran will implement [a travel ban on all American citizens],” a statement from the Iranian foreign ministry said. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has stated that actions taken by newly-inaugurated American president Trump are a “gift to extremists,” signifying a significant Iranian realignment back to extreme anti-Americanism.
Seen by many Americans as an act of war, Rouhani’s decision to ban all travel comes at a very critical point in relations between the United States and Iran.
On Tuesday morning, Iran-backed Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi warship off of the coast of Yemen. Reports confirm that the rebels were yelling “Death to America, death to Israel” while firing missiles at the Saudi ship. According to this coalition, three suicide vessels were also involved with the attack on this ship.
On Monday, the Iranian military conducted a ballistic missile test. According to United States officials, this was a clear violation of a resolution passed by the United Nations soon after the Iran Nuclear Deal was approved. Per U.N. resolution 2231, Iran was very clearly not allowed to conduct these nuclear tests.
The future of Washington-Tehran relations looks bleak, and with the hardline stance taken by president Trump combined with the increasing extremism and acts of war from Rouhani, the United States may be looking at a serious conflict in the middle east very soon.
The US intelligence community has launched an investigation into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, focusing on the Senator’s ties to Russian government officials.
The US intelligence community has launched an investigation into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, focusing on the Senator’s ties to Russian government officials. These investigations began as the CIA task force designed to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia found references to the Senate Majority Leader in their probes. This task force, consisting of the Treasury and Justice departments, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI, and the National Security Agency found recordings of conversations suggesting strategic cooperation between McConnell and the Kremlin during Trump’s presidency.
McClatchy and the BBC confirmed the results of these ongoing probes into McConnell’s ties with Russia. National Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) along with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) today announced a joint probe into McConnell’s cooperation with Russia as well as possible interference of the presidential election. Nunes and Schiff asked the intelligence community to turn all documents over related to their investigation, stating that “it will not be adequate to review these documents, expected to be in the thousands of pages, at the agencies. They should be delivered to the House Intelligence Committee to provide members adequate time to examine their content.”
The intelligence community has already concluded that Russia intended to influence the result of the presidential election, and have begun to look deeper into ties between the Kremlin and US government officials.
Multiple democrats, along with Rep. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have pushed further to call for investigations between the intelligence community and congress into Russia’s exact role in the 2016 presidential election. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have rejected any attempt at bringing a committee together and have suggested conducting separate probes.
In an unexpected twist of events, Donald J. Trump, the newly elected 45th President, declares that he will order a wall on the US-Canadian border. In an interview with Union City Post, Trump says:
The Canadians are terrible. They send their worst. The snobby, the sorry, and the cold. America doesn’t need that. We need to make America great again. Canada and Canadians are simply a problem that needs to be solved. We will solve it with a big, beautiful wall, just like the one with Mexico. We will get Canada to pay for it too. We also need to fight ISIS, but to do that, we must fight Canada first.
The Trump administration did not reply with a request for further comment.