Despite a historic nuclear deal, 2016 was marked by tensions between the United States and Iran. One of the most telling moments for me was when I traveled with the head of the US military Central Command through the Strait of Hormuz. Which is one of the world's most important oil shipping channels.
And within minutes of us getting to the critical part of the strait, we saw five Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ships come towards us. Some had mounted machine guns, there was a guided missile patrol ship that came by, and they were monitoring us. And it was a reminder for the head of the US military forces throughout the Middle East that Iran really hasn't changed its behavior in the region despite a landmark nuclear accord that started to see sanctions relieved for Iran this year.
And don't forget, this is only about five, six months after the capture of ten US sailors who had also blundered into Iranian territorial waters. Iran made a real field day out of that situation. They filmed them, they made the captain read an apology, it was a real scandal.
Actually almost threatened to unravel the accord that Iran so badly wanted, that President Barrack Obama wanted to get through because they thought it would be a turning point in these relations.>> One of the dumbest deals I've ever see negotiated->> The Iranian nuclear accord was also a tremendous issue in the presidential campaign.
President-elect, Donald Trump said he would tear up the nuclear deal. He said it's a bad deal. And he's appointed people in his cabinet since the election that really have a hard line view of Iran. So you're seeing a lot of churn right now in Washington that looks to put Iran firmly on the radar for 2017.
And I think a lot of that's part of what we saw in the strait that day, and what we saw throughout the region this year, that could really shape policy going forward.