The tension between the US and Iran has escalated in recent years that nearly incited a war between the countries. Recently, however, Iran has relaxed its movements to the West, a deviation from intimidation to restricted cooperation.

The switch is a result of an effort to reduce confrontation with the United States which would be advantageous to the American president in this year's election coming in November, says Iranian officials.

The move is even more apparent in Iraq as a pro-American prime minister has been backed in Iran and where rocket attacks on American forces have ceased.

A hidden truce

The New York Times reported that even though the US denies any change in the actions of Iran, they have also begun to ease their movements indirectly.

The move on both sides results in a ceasefire between the two nations, that although may not last or lead to the end of the conflict, will have already reduced the possibility of open conflict amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"A war is less likely to happen, but there is still the risk of a confrontation," said senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, Randa Slim. "But it's less likely because the intent of the primary actors has shifted. Both Iran and the US definitely do not want a war six months before the US elections."

Analysts say that the move by Iran, which has not seen any public announcements, is a political tactic. The country strongly goes against Trump's demands to renegotiate nuclear agreements and is determined to drive the US military from its territory.

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A history of provocations

Last month, the US and Iranian navies faced off in a dangerously close encounter which was the result of the provocation of 11 Iranian Revolutionary Guards' speedboats which led to Trump threatening the Middle Eastern country that the US will shoot any Iranian gunboat should the event happen again.

According to The Guardian, the current situation of the relationship between the two nations, rivalling claims that each is the perpetrator of terrorist acts. There is also minimal interaction between senior diplomats of the two countries. 

The ceasing of provocations had resulted in significant changes to the two nations' movements, such as a negotiation for a swap of prisoners which consisted of a United States Navy veteran for an Iranian-American doctor.

The positive effects also include the reduction of attacks on merchant ships and tankers in the Persian Gulf. Previously, this threatened one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Fear of war with the United States is one of the reasons that has led to the change, as stated by several experts from Iran. Another is that the country is overextended and too busy dealing with the coronavirus pandemic to even think of investing in an armed war.

The Middle Eastern country has also stated its belief that the relaxed tension benefits the American president in winning his nation's votes in the upcoming November elections. Ever since Trump's presidency, he has declined nuclear agreements with Iran and pushed for paralyzing restrictions that plunged Iran's economy.

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