22:29 GMT28 October 2020
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    US-Iran Relations Hit New Low After Killing of General Soleimani in Baghdad (146)
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    Debates about the elimination of Iranian top military commander, head of elite Quds Force Qasem Soleimani by US forces, shows no signs of abating. Acute questions are being raised not only about how things are going to turn out in the Middle East at large, but what the move will bring about at home, in the US and Iran.

    Alexander Azadgan, editor-at-large with United World International and a professor of international political economy, has had his say on the demise of Iran’s top military figure, Qasem Soleimani, who died in Baghdad at the hands of US forces in the early hours of Friday.

    According to Azadgan, the repercussions could be “dire” as it could well usher in a “war between these two countries".  The Iranians, he pointed out, “do have their hands tied in a way", as they apparently acknowledge that they might be “goaded into war".

    “Killing and murdering the commander of one of the major armed forces branches in Iran is an act of war", the speaker contended, admitting though that Iran also has skeletons in its closet given attacks “coming from Iraq towards US military installations either in Bahrain or within Iraq itself".

    “I think they [the Iranians] might be using their proxies, whether it's in Iraq, Lebanon, or Yemen", Azadgan noted.

    ‘Never Seen Things as Tense', But the Move Is for a Reason

    Responding to a question about the countries’ relations, the editor thundered it’s “beyond an all-time low” as “we are at a state of war", he proceeded adding despite his optimism  he “has never seen things as tense as they are now".

    Referring to the way Supreme Leader Aytollah Khamenei had dubbed Soleimani long before his death  - “a living martyr” – Azadgan assumed he had known way ahead that the top commander and elite Quds’ inspirer would be “brutally murdered as he was". He singled out the timing: “when there is instability in the political power structure within Iraq” and "when the US announced they were reinforcing their contingent in the Middle East by 4,000 troops".

    “I believe all these events are correlated and that US... Basically, they're trying to cause a war in the region", he speculated, further trying to come up with the tangible reasons for the US to unleash a war right at this very moment.

    And it is Trump’s domestic woes, and more specifically, impeachment, Azadgan says.

    “I think every time a US president is cornered - in this case, the process of impeachment, if we go back to the late 1990s when Bill Clinton got impeached, he attacked Sudan and Yugoslavia, we believe this thing might be a distraction operation from Trump's upcoming impeachment by bolstering his muscles and showing off, you know, projecting an image of strength because he's besieged at home, at least in the House of Representatives", the speaker elaborated adding emphatically that one should “never underestimate an impeached president".

    ‘Reckless Move’

    Heshmatullah Falahatpisheh, former head of the Iranian Parliament’s national and security and foreign affairs’ commission went still further branding the US and Donald Trump personally as “reckless” since Soleimani was not only “a leader” but “a national hero".

    “Many who faced Daesh* atrocities or were rescued should thank Soleimani for this".

    The parliamentarian went on to argue the US’ interests in the Islamic world are in jeopardy, “with threats coming not from the Islamic Republic of Iran, but due to Qasem Soleimani having been a hero both in Iran and in neighbouring countries". She added he virtually countered the American brainchild in the region –Daesh.

    ‘It was Dumb of Trump’

    “His associates and followers are scattered all around the Islamic world and they will definitely strive for revenge", Falahatpisheh explained, before summing up:

    “Anyway, its was dumb of Trump to eliminate one of the most authoritative leaders in the Islamic world” as such moves jeopardise American interests in the region.

    As for a potential US-Iran military confrontation, the parliamentary representative stressed that the US strike can be viewed as the outbreak of a war.

    “It goes without saying that Iranian Ministry of Defence will instantly consider the issue from the point of view of international conventions and norms, but what’s critical is what decision the country’s national security council will take in connection with the incident", she rounded off.

    Earlier in the day it was confirmed by the Pentagon that Commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was killed by rocket fire near the Baghdad International Airport, as US forces conducted “a decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad, at the direction of the president". IRGC’s Quds group is tipped as a foreign terrorist organisation by Washington.

    Soleimani was murdered while in his car at the Baghdad Airport after the US forces quelled a raid on the US Embassy in the Iraqi capital that the Pentagon said Soleimani was behind. The Department of Defence also noted that he had previously “orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq - including the attack on December 27th”, which saw a number of American and Iraqi personnel wounded.

    The Department of Defence referred to the strike, in which Soleimani was killed, as preventive:

    “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world", the statement added.

    Authorities in Tehran strongly condemned the United States, with President Rouhani and Supreme Leader Aytollah Khamenei pledging to take vengeance for the commander’s death. For the time being, Soleimani’s deputy Esmail Ghaani has been tapped for the role as the Quds Force’s new head.

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    US-Iran Relations Hit New Low After Killing of General Soleimani in Baghdad (146)

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    Qasem Soleimani, Middle East, Quds Force, Iran
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