A Breakdown of the Iranian-U.S. Conflict

Qasem Soleimani, member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed on January 3rd, 2020. 
Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sardar_Qasem_Soleimani-01.jpg

Qasem Soleimani, member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed on January 3rd, 2020. Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sardar_Qasem_Soleimani-01.jpg

Dina Shlufman, Staff Writer

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The entire world is aware of the killing of terrorist Qasem Soleimani, which was instigated by U.S. forces. Though with constant bits of possibly inaccurate information being published, combined with World War III memes, it is easy to get confused about what happened and why. I’m here to give you a summary of the events of the past week in the U.S.-Iranian conflict.

President Trump’s address to the American people following the lack of casualties due to Iranian retaliation:

youtube.com/yahoofinance

Qasem Soleimani

Since the attack on the U.S. embassy in 1979, there has been constant political tension between the United States and Iran. On January 3rd, 2020, President Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He is responsible for the “armor-piercing improvised explosive devices that killed and wounded hundreds of American troops.” He is also behind many other terrorist attacks throughout the world that killed Iranians, Syrians, and others. 

There has been a worldwide debate on whether it was right or not for the U.S. to have instigated this attack. Americans wonder if it was right to involve ourselves in his killing, as he is not living in the U.S. and the event may have increased Iranian-U.S. tensions. Others say that it was our responsibility to kill him since he has killed many Americans, and tensions with Iran have always been high. Iran has constantly sent threats, particularly against the U.S. and Israel. In addition, because Iran threatens Israel often, and the country is one of the U.S.’s closest allies, some feel that it was necessary to remove this threat. However, his death may have created new threats. 

In response to Soleimani’s death, Iran has threatened to blow up Haifa, Israel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the U.S. if America attacks Iran anymore. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has responded to these threats by saying that if Iran tries anything, Israel will fight back and punish Iran badly for its actions.

 

Iranian Retaliation

On January 8th, 2020, Iran retaliated. It shot 22 ballistic missiles at 2 Iraqi air bases in Al Asad and Irbil. The bases housed American troops. However, there were no casualties and little damage occurred. There has been speculation that this attack was just to scare the U.S. and honor Iran’s threat of retaliation as Iran knows that if it attack U.S. soldiers, American will attack Iran back likely much harder. Iran wants all U.S. troops to be removed from the Middle East, but President Trump has no plans to remove troops anytime soon. In response to the missile attacks, Trump has said that, “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned.” 

Ballistic Missile

Shortly after the missile attack, a Ukranian plane departing from Iran and heading toward Kiev, Ukraine was shot down by Iranian forces. Although Iran later claimed that the attack was unintentional, all 176 people on board the plane were killed when the plane crashed outside of Tehran, Iran.

 

Iranian Nuclear Status

President Trump has strongly opposed the Iranian Nuclear Deal since its inception. It was implemented by President Barack Obama with the intention of giving $150,000,000,000 to Iran for it to use to improve their country in exchange for their promise not to build any nuclear weapons. The U.S. made plans to check up with Iran to make sure that it was not building any nuclear weapons in their facilities. President Trump regards this as a bad move as Iran could easily have used this money to build weaponry in secret. 

A recurring topic of the WWIII memes involves nuclear weapons. So the question remains whether or not Iran has these weapons. We don’t know for sure, since if it did, it wouldn’t be telling us. However, with that amount of  money, it is a strong possibility. Since President Trump strongly opposes this deal, he imposed sanctions on Iran to prevent any U.S. goods from traveling to or from Iran to or from the U.S. This especially hurts Iran, as it is unable to export their oil, which is their largest product. President Trump believes that these sanctions will damage the Iranian economy and prevent it from making nuclear weapons. President Trump has also said that during his presidency, Iran will never have nuclear weapons.

 

What Now?

Although tensions remain high with Iran, neither America nor Iran has made any public plans to attack the other. However, conditions remain volatile and we will need to see how things play out over the next few weeks.