US and Iran get heated

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By Amy Pacas

Map of Iran
Photo courtesy of cia.gov

Managing Editor

There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about the tensions between the U.S and Iran. These recent events had been spiraling for a couple of years until on January 3rd, 2020, U.S president, Donald Trump, ordered an air strike on the country. This air strike killed Iran’s top general/second most important man in their country, Qasem Soleimani. Why did all this go down right now?

The U.S has had conflicts with countries in the middle east since WW2. It began with the US, Britain, and the Soviet Union all occupying Iran at the same time back in the 1940s to keep Nazi powers out. About a decade later, President Eisenhower ordered a coup to take down Mossadegh, the popular, elected leader of Parliament at the time. This attempt failed and caused Iranians to lose trust in Americans and the US government.

From there, there was a mutual dislike between the two countries, but they were civil, up until the Iranian Revolution in 1979 when the Shah of the country was exiled, and the United States took him in a month later to treat his cancer. Things started to escalate drastically from there, America cut off all ties and trade with Iran, kicking out any Iranian diplomats. Since then, the US has gotten involved in many affairs in that part of the world, most of it revolving around the politics of oil.

Trump ordered the air strike on January 2nd in retaliation to the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia attacking the US embassy in Iraq on the 31st of December. The conflict then continued to escalate with the United States sending 3,000 additional troops into the Middle East, Iran rolling back on commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, and Iran launching 22 ballistic missiles at two military bases hosting US and allied troops in Iraq.  All this back and forth fighting went on for about a week before both leaders cooled down and got more diplomatic.   

Students had some varying reactions to these events, some confused, some fearing a third world war, some even saying it’s all fine because it was “typical American behavior.” Among all the chaos, a few students decided to get themselves decently informed on the subject.

“I feel like we shouldn’t be assassinating foreign leaders. Sometimes our country tends to overstep in the Middle East, and I think that’s why there are a lot of problems over there. We should be trying to pull out of that region and try to bring troops home and stay out of that business, because we have a history of over-interfering in that region,” senior Shelby Norman said.   

Norman is a member of BSS young democrats and she has attended rallies opposing the conflict with the middle east. Junior Colin Raymond is also a member of the BSS young republicans and has his own opinions on the situation.

“I feel like the [social] media blew it way out of proportion because they were calling it the start of WW3, which is kind of dumb because they assassinated a general, they didn’t break and treaties with any other specific countries or anything like that, and it’s just a conflict with Iran at this point. The US is just gonna increase military spending for a while and everything will die down,” Raymond said.

Though the situation is now on the peaceful side, it seems that some of the leaders in this world have a short fuse, so when will be the next time one of them blows up?