On Wednesday US President Donald Trump\u00a0announced additional \u201cpowerful\u201d sanctions\u00a0on Iran to be in effect until the regime changes its behavior. Trump called Iran\u2019s actions in the Middle East \u201cdestructive and destabilizing.\u201d\r\nHere is a timeline of recent escalations by Iran in the Middle East:\r\nMay 12, 2019:\u00a0Four ships, two of them Saudi Arabian, are attacked with explosives while traveling off the coast of the UAE, within oil shipping routes. The US said in an official assessment it was\u00a0\u201chighly likely\u201d Iran was behind the attacks. Tehran denies responsibility.\r\nJune 19, 2019:\u00a0Iran\u00a0shoots down a US military drone\u00a0in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz using a surface-to-air missile. Iran said the US aircraft was flying over Iranian territory; the US military\u2019s Central Command said the claim was false.\r\nJuly 19, 2019:\u00a0Iran\u2019s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)\u00a0seize the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero\u00a0for alleged marine violations near the Strait of Hormuz and hold it for more than two months. The seizure came two weeks after the UK detained an Iranian tanker, believed to be breaching European Union sanctions by carrying a shipment of Iranian crude oil to Syria.\r\nSeptember 14, 2019:\u00a0Two Saudi Arabian oil facilities are attacked by\u00a025 drones and cruise missiles\u00a0from the north. The US\u00a0points the finger at Iran.\u00a0Saudi Arabia\u2019s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir says the attacks were \u201cundertaken with Iranian weapons, and for this reason we hold Iran accountable for them.\u201d The Iran-backed Houthi militia initially take responsibility, but it is later reported that\u00a0Houthi leaders said they covered for Iran.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOctober 2019:\u00a0Iran\u2019s IRGC - Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani instructs his Shia militia allies in Iraq to\u00a0step up attacks on US targets\u00a0in the country using sophisticated weapons provided by Iran, according to Reuters.\r\nDecember 27, 2019:\u00a0Iran-backed militia Kata\u2019ib Hezbollah conduct a\u00a0deadly strike\u00a0on an Iraqi military base near Kirkuk using rockets. US civilian contractor Nawres Waleed Hamid of Sacramento, California, is killed.\r\nDecember 31, 2019:\u00a0Iran-backed militias\u00a0storm the US Embassy in Baghdad, torching parts of the compound, smashing security cameras, and hurling stones. The siege was in response to US airstrikes that killed 25 militia fighters in retaliation for the killing of a US civilian contractor in Iraq.\r\nJanuary 8, 2020: Iran launches more than a\u00a0dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq\u00a0in what is reported to be called Operation Martyr Soleimani, in response to the US-ordered drone strike that killed Soleimani on January 3. Iran\u2019s attack causes no casualties.\r\nJanuary 8, 2020:\u00a0Hours after Operation Martyr Soleimani, a Ukraine International Airlines flight crashes shortly after takeoff from Tehran\u2019s Imam Khomeini International Airport. All 176 people on board are killed. After initially denying responsibility for the crash, Iran admits four days later that\u00a0its military \u201cunintentionally\u201d shot down the plane, alleging it mistook for a \u201chostile target.\u201d\r\nJanuary 9, 2020:\u00a0Iran-backed militias\u00a0strike Baghdad\u2019s heavily fortified Green Zone\u00a0with two Katyusha rockets, landing near the US embassy in the city.