By: Eja Fromm
The world wonders if another World War is at stake as Iran and the U.S. engage in concerning conflicts.
On January 3rd, top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike orchestrated by the United States government.
Trump had ordered for the death of Soleimani nearly seven months ago, under certain conditions; if Soleimani’s actions led to the death of an American, Trump could order the command to kill him.
Relations with Iran had already been tense since Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. The deal would have Iran redesign and repurpose its nuclear facilities while the economic sanctions on them would be lifted in return.
However, when Trump pulled out of the deal on the grounds that Iran’s aggressiveness violated its nature, Tehran later released a statement that they were no longer inclined to obey certain parts of the deal.
Since July of 2019, Iran has slowly been reducing the committments they initially agreed to at the start of the deal, gradually increasing its uranium enrichment while other nations invovled in the deal scramble to save what’s left.
This caused some tension between all national bodies involved in the Iran nuclear deal as Iran, concerned that more Western nations would pull out and impose more economic sanctions, gradually pulled back on the deal while the United States isolated itself from the position of its other allies.
Trump has been concerned with Iran’s actions, believing them to be increasingly hostile and worrying. Since 1979, Iran has been investing significantly in proxy groups and allies throughout the Middle East in order to wreak havoc and terror while expanding their sphere of influence in the region.
In one of their attacks in Iraq, they killed a U.S. contractor and four U.S. service members, leaving Trump with the decision to kill Soleimani.
The air strike that killed him on January 3rd took place near Baghdad International Airport, killing nine others beside Soleimani, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who had been a deputy commander in Iran and listed as a terrorist in the United States.
Iran responded fiercely, threatening the U.S. with retaliation which eventually was fulfilled. On January 8th, Iran launched several ballistic missiles onto U.S. military bases in Iraq which had no deaths but several casualties. On the same day, Iran also shot down a plane, killing 176 people who were mostly Iranian graduates visiting families in the country.
After the Iran’s strike took place, Trump released a statement that seemed to alleviate the situation, saying that U.S. would not use violent force as a response to the situation unless Iran forced our hand.
Although Trump initially stated that none of the troops had been injured, 50 U.S. service members were diagnosed with brain trauma as a result of the attacks. Trump seemed to downplay the injuries stating that he heard they had headaches but not elaborating further upon that.
Essentially, the attacks that took place on the new year set a scary time on the new year, with many believing it could be the start to another world war. Thankfully, it seems that neither side went so far as to declare any action such as that.
However, with the United States holding its stand against Iran, it will be interesting to see the development of relations between these nations.