PUBLISHED: 17:00, Mon, Jan 4, 2021 | UPDATED: 17:01, Mon, Jan 4, 2021
Iran's recent actions have sparked international concern as Tehran's military seizes a South Korean vessel amid its accelerating nuclear weapons programme. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard said it intercepted the South Korean vessel in the Strait of Hormuz for “polluting the Persian Gulf with chemicals”. This has sparked fury in Seoul, as South Korea's foreign ministry demands the ship’s release, and warned that the country's forces were stationed nearby. Outgoing US President Donald Trump has endured four years of hostility with Iran, and Washington will likely be furious with leaders in Tehran.
Iran is now enriching uranium to 20 percent purity (a process used to develop nuclear weapons) marking its most significant breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The deal was designed to prevent Iran from accelerating its weapons programme, but was abandoned in 2018 after President Trump criticised the agreement.
He also toughened economic sanctions on Iran, resulting in hostility culminating in military exchanges over the last 12 months.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Washington killed one of Iran's key military generals, Qassem Soleimani, in January 2020 with a drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq.
In the aftermath of the attack, many analysts warned that Iran could retaliate.
World War 3: Trump has clashed with Iran (Image: getty)
World War 3: The South Korean vessel was seized today, according to Iran (Image: Reuters)
Iran responded by launching ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq, injuring dozens of US troops. Tehran also accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet that night, killing all 176 people on board.
As highlighted by analysis in the New York Times, Iran always presents the risk of retaliatory violence during international disputes.
International correspondent Max Fisher wrote in January 2019: "Iran will feel