In 3 January, one of the most powerful men in Iran, General Qasem Soleimani was killed in an airstrike in Baghdad International Airport.
The airstrike was ordered by the Commander in Chief of the United States, President Donald Trump.
According to Trump, the late General was planning some “imminent and sinister attacks” to American diplomats and military personnel and the action that he has to do is to “terminate” him.
For a long time, the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, an elite unit that handles Iran’s overseas operations that was headed by Soleimani has always been considered by the US as a “foreign terrorist organization”.
The incident involving two powerful men from two countries with vast military resources and unmistakably strong military might has sparked a possibility of having the third world war.
The war is seemingly a bomb waiting to happen, with too much history and geopolitical tug-of-war between the two countries laying the volatile groundwork for the inevitable for more than 40 years.
Seeds of conflict
In 1953, the installation of the restoration Shah in 1953, as well as the ouster of democratically elected prime minister of Iran orchestrated by the British together with American coups was said to be one of the primary reasons of the conflict between two nations.
It was considered by Iranians as the ‘West’s meddling in Iranian affairs motivated by greed’.
These conflicts within the first few years of the 50s were all linked to ‘who will control the Iranian oil’.
The Shah regime continues and in 1957, the US helped Iran start its nuclear program.
The multi-billion contract, however, was scrapped in 1979 when an anti-monarchist revolution swept the existing regime leading to a 444-day-long hostage crisis in the US Embassy.
During the regime, it was said to be ‘economic difficulties, socio-political repression has increased’.
These incidents have underlined the conflicts in the two nations that followed; a bloody eight-year war that started in 1980, a suicide bombing linked to an Iranian that killed 241 American military personnel in 1983, to the shooting down of Iranian passenger airline killing 290 people aboard in 1988.
Iran and the United States have been in conflict for years.
And today, it continues.
- Tharoor, I. (2015). The key moments in the long history of U.S.-Iran tensions.
- Ware, M. (2020). The killing of Iran’s top general won’t stop a war. The US and Iran have already been fighting for more than 40 years.
- Gan, N. (2020). Who was Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian commander killed by a US airstrike?
- The Nationalization of Iranian Oil. (n.d.).
- Afary, J. (n.d.) Iranian Revolution. Bishop, L., and Aoraha, C. (2020). ‘ACT OF WAR’ Who was Qasem Soleimani and how did Iran’s general die?