Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, continues to lead followers in chants of “Death to America.” The State Department has listed Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Iran detained two U.S. Navy patrol boats and 10 U.S. sailors in January, when they entered Iranian waters days before sanctions lifted. The U.S. commander was later fired from his job, and the Navy said other sailors involved would be reprimanded.
The sailors were released following a phone call from Secretary of State John Kerryto Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and the two continue to consult with each other regularly. Despite ongoing official enmity, U.S. and Iranian military forces have been fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The U.S.-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State targets, providing cover for Iraqi forces and Iranian-trained Shiite Muslim militias that have retaken cities from the militants.
In Syria, Iran has been more focused on helping President Bashar Assad fight against U.S.-supported rebels who want to overthrow his regime.
The Iranian-Syrian effort received a boost last fall when Russia began an air campaign supporting Assad and his allies. – READ MORE