For decades, the US and Iran have been at each other’s throats. Recently, the tensions between the two have been escalating dramatically. On January 3rd, President Trump launched an airstrike on Iranian military general, Qassem Soleimani, killing him along with 9 others. The strike took place at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Trump was given the option to kill Soleimani or attack other militia sites in the Middle East by the Pentagon in late December: he chose to attack five sites controlled by a militia group in Iraq and Syria, killing 25 people. Trump’s initial plan wasn’t to kill Soleimani, but after Iran killed Nawres Hamid, an Iraqi-American contractor, he killed Soleimani as a reaction to Hamid’s killing and a way to send a message back to Iran. Later on January 8th, Iranian President Rouhani ordered an attack on a US military base in Iraq. Rouhani’s overall goal was to get US forces out of Iraq and take away the presence of American armed forces .
Knowing what has happened between the two nations in the past is essential to fully understand what is happening right now. The negative relationship between Iran and the US started in the 80s when the US had partial control of Iran’s government, which most Iranians strongly opposed. The Iranian people overthrew the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, that was highly supported and aided by America, causing the US to lose the majority of their power in Iran. Since that happened, peace and alliance haven’t been in close range for the US and Iran. Freshman Oliver Butterfield states, “Honestly, the tensions between the US and Iran have been going on for so long, it’s hard to imagine them ever not fighting with each other.” The US has also been putting military sanctions on Iran since 1984, and if broken, it would cause Iran’s trade market to be restricted and their economy to plummet. The threat of Iran using nuclear weapons against the US and other enemies and Iran supporting multiple terrorist groups were the reasons for the major sanctions put on Iran by America.
The thought of “World War III” has been floating around in the media for the past couple months. While some people have been scared about this possibility, most people realized it probably won’t happen. When people talk about WWIII, it seems like most people are confident it won’t happen, or start making jokes about the idea. The US is already involved in a war with Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. fighting against another country wouldn’t benefit the US in the slightest. “We’re already doing a lot with our military right now, so starting another war with a bigger, more powerful country would be a bad idea for lots of reasons,” says Keith Fleming, the World Cultures teacher here at TL. Afghanistan is much weaker (in both their economy and military) than Iran, but the US can’t seem to win a war against even them. It wouldn’t make any sense to why we would be able to beat Iran. There are a few people in the US and the government that want to go to war with Iran, the overall viewpoint from Americans and the American government is that a war with Iran is a bad idea.
Both countries definitely hold significant blame for the damage that has been done. Iran has been threatening the US and has allegedly been giving support to anti-US groups (such as ISIS and Boko Haram), while the US has been attacking military sites in Iran and putting sanctions on the country. It seems as though many people, American or Iranian, seem to think that the US is more to blame. Mr. Fleming comments, “We were the ones who went and killed one of their higher-ranking generals; if Iran killed a high ranking American general, our retaliation would’ve been far bigger. Both countries hold some blame, but for this matter, the US is more to blame.” The relations between the two countries have been progressing towards becoming more and more dangerous. Even though the conflict doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon, luckily a war doesn’t seem like a realistic future for the US and Iran.