Iran And The US On The Brink Of War: The Killing Of Soleimani May Have Far-reaching Effects
Iran And The US On The Brink Of War: The Killing Of Soleimani May Have Far-reaching Effects
At the moment, tensions between the United States and Iran are at the highest level since the Iranian revolution in 1979. The reason is the Iranian attack on American and coalition forces in Iraq.
Iranian commanders fired over ten missiles at US forces at two bases in Iraq. This was a response to the American drone strike, which killed one of the most influential Iranian officials, Lieutenant General, Qasem Soleimani, on January 3.
Despite the impossibility of determining the damage, the attack led to an escalation of tension between Iraq and the United States, which began to progress several months earlier. Both President of the USA Donald Trump and the official leadership of the Islamic Republic would threaten each other with repression if either of the parties committed an attack.
This escalation of the conflict between the authorities of Tehran and Washington, the former CIA director Leon Panetta called “closer to the war with Iran than in the last 40 years.”
How Did the Conflict Between States Start?
Military operations between the American and Iranian sides began to intensify after Donald Trump came to power. In 2017, the President of the United States began a ‘Maximum Pressure’ policy. Trump refused the nuclear deal, according to which sanctions against Iran could be weakened in exchange for delaying the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
From that moment, US officials have accused Iran of assaulting oil refineries and tankers in Riyarde, as well as of shooting down a US drone.
On December 27, an American contractor and four other military, US citizens, were killed due to a rocket explosion at a northeastern Iraqi base. America accused the Iraqi militias, who were supported by Iranian authorities, in collaboration with the elite forces of Quds, led by General Soleimani. Soon, on December 29, the US military retaliated against five points in Syria and Iraq, which led to the deaths of more than two dozen militants.
Immediately after this, hundreds of protesters began to storm the United States Embassy in Baghdad. Militiamen made their way inside the building and set fire to the state office’s waiting room before the security forces dispersed them. They demanded the closure of the diplomatic mission in Iraq and the withdrawal of American troops. The explosion of the Embassy of America cost no casualties. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the incident as “a terrorist attack on America with the support of the Iranian side.”
The next morning, the famous spiritual leader of the Islamic people, an Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed by a blow from American aircraft at the Baghdad airport. According to administration officials, Soleimani had been preparing an attack on Americans in the Middle East. This constituted a strong threat to Americans.
What is Known about General Soleimani?
The death of the Islamic leader shocked not only Iran but the whole world. No one expected the great commander to die from missiles of the US military.
Qasem Soleimani was patronizing for a long time the military groups of Palestine and Lebanon. He was one of the key individuals who played an important role in shaping the political situation in Iraq.
Since 2012, the general assisted the government of Bashar al-Assad in breaking the course of the civil war in Syria and Iraq in 2014-2015.
Soleimani came from a poor Iranian peasant family. He started working as a laborer but quickly got the post of assistant engineer.
In 1979, he followed the ideas of the Islamic revolution and from the first days got on the list of the Islamic Revolution Guardian Corps. And in 1980, he became famous in the Iran-Iraq war.
Iranians consider Soleimani a national hero. People make films and songs about him in the Middle East, and in the West, on the contrary, the name of the general is on the UN blacklist as involved in the development of nuclear and missile programs for the Iranian state.
Retired General David Petraeus, who considered Soleimani an extremely outstanding opponent, praised his death as one of the largest tragedies:
“It’s more than Osama bin Laden than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” commented the General death of the commander of Iranian intelligence.
The forces of Quds headed by Soleimani are a part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The US president called it a terrorist organization. America accuses Soleimani of killing more than 600 US troops in Iraq and more than a hundred thousand in other regions.
Official Iran’s Response to the Killing of Soleimani
The head of Iran, Ali Khamenei, commented on Soleimani’s death: “The perpetrators of the attack are awaiting violent revenge.”
After that, Iran launched a rocket attack on the Ain Assad air base in the west of the Iraqi state. There are about 1500 American and coalition forces. The military base, which the Pentagon has identified as the site of the attack, is located in the half-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.
According to experts, other ways that Iran can take revenge are cyberattacks on the American state and the oil supply disruption, which threatens also other countries.
On the day of the lieutenant general’s funeral, hundreds of Iranians took to the city squares to say goodbye to their spiritual leader.
The Trump and the Iran Nuclear Deal
On this day, official Tehran announced its withdrawal from the Trump and the Iran nuclear deal, from which Washington withdrew a year earlier. The essence of the deal was to suspend Iran’s development of nuclear weapons for 10 years. In addition to the United States and Iran, China, Russia, and some European countries also participated in the agreement.
Iraq’s Response to Conflict Escalation
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi gave a disapproving assessment of the actions of the United States. Mahdi said that “American troops must leave the country” after more than 16 years of presence in the East. On Sunday, the Iraqi parliament put forward a resolution for the withdrawal of American troops, which was supported and adopted.
However, Trump claimed they wouldn’t leave the territory if Iraq didn’t reimburse the US government for the cost of the “extremely expensive air base.” The US president also threatened to impose tough sanctions on Iraq in case the US forces try to expel.
What is the Essence of the Inevitability of a Threat?
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the administration’s decision to kill Soleimani was right. Since the Iranian general was preparing a serious attack on the military forces of America.
According to Senator Mark Rubio, Trump had a choice to lose hundreds or even thousands of the lives of his citizens or to neutralize the enemy. Congressional Democrats confirmed Suleimani’s motives, but not as confidently as the head of state.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the House’s intelligence committee, said the Iranian general was “plotting against America’s interests.” But the question of how seriously the plot was perceived by the United States this time has still been open because Suleimani was eliminated “from the battlefield”.
“I don’t think that American intelligence supports the idea of killing Soleimani as increasing the country’s security,” added Adam Schiff.
What Did Congress Say?
Democrat representatives condemned Trump’s behavior, as the president did not inform the leaders on Capitol Hill before committing this resonant actions.
On Saturday, Congress received a document from an American leader explaining its military decisions, under the provisions of the Military Powers Act of 1973. A day later, the head of the White House published a funny post on social networks stating that he was ready to strike Iran if an attack was made “on any American or target”.
At the same time, Nancy Pelosi, spokeswoman for the US House of Representatives, said it was worth making a decision as soon as possible about the timing, order, and advisability of the administration’s decision to take part in the military operation against the Iranian state.
Senator Tim Kane introduced a resolution that does not allow the use of additional military force against Iran without the permission of Congress.
The statement raises the question of the assassination of Soleimani as a military action that was committed without Congress’s sanction in violation of the US Constitution.
Nancy Pelosi assured that they would vote for the resolution as soon as possible. This will significantly limit Trump’s military power against Iran as tensions increase.
How did Donald Trump React?
The head of America continued a series of official tweets about military conflict. The President said that any action against the United States from the Iranian side threatened it with a powerful blow.
Trump confirmed that the USA had identified 52 goals, “representing 52 American hostages captured by Iran many years ago.” The head of state said cultural sites were among potential targets, which were constituted as a war crime.
At the same time, Mike Pompeo insisted that the United States would carry out an attack only for “legitimate” purposes. But Trump confirmed his position:
“They are allowed to torture and mutilate our people. They are allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up Americans. But we are not allowed to touch their cultural objects. This will not work like that,” said the American president.