The new year started off rough with the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on January 3, which happened as a result of Soleimani directly giving orders to attack the US Embassy in Baghdad. An American airstrike killed him in his convoy while it was leaving the Baghdad International Airport. Agnes Callamard, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, said that the killing of Soleimani was a violation of basic human rights, specifically in that “the individual targeted constituted in an imminent threat to others.”
Former director of Iran affairs at the White House National Security Council Hillary Mann Leverett called the assassination of Soleimani “flatly illegal.”
Five days after his death and one day after his burial, Iran retaliated by firing missiles at two US bases in Iran resulting in no casualties. Then on January 9, the House of Representatives voted 224-194 to restrict President Trump from using military action against Iran. President Trump plans to de-escalate tensions between the two countries in the future, to ensure no attacks like this happen again. The same day Trump tweeted, “Hope that all House Republicans will vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution. Also, remember her ‘speed & rush’ in getting the Impeachment Hoax voted on & done. Well, she never sent the Articles to the Senate. Just another Democrat fraud. Presidential Harassment!”
He was referencing the War Powers Act, which was passed in 1973, as a reaction to secret bombings during the Vietnam War, which says the House and Senate can pass a resolution to force the withdrawal of troops engaged in a foreign conflict without Congress’ consent.
Other members of the House have stated their distrust with Trump’s ability to handle the delicate US-Iran relationship. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the attack “provocative” and “disproportionate.”
Representative Ayanna Presley (D-MA) tweeted, “the Occupant was JUST impeached for abuse of power for political gain & now he is leading us to the brink of war which he believes will help his re-election. we are sick of endless wars. Congress has the sole authority to declare war and we must deescalate. #NoWarWithIran.”
People believe that the conflict will result in WWIII, as a result of Iran pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal and on January 12 US defense secretary deployed thousands of troops as a result of additional plans to attack multiple embassies. Although neither country is wanting to engage in a full scale war, especially with the threat of a nuclear option hanging over each head. Congress has also stated it will not allow such events to perspire.
“The public is misunderstanding the situation, they need to do some reading.” says AP Government teacher Gemma Defee, “For about 226 years of America has being a country it has been at war. These may not have been full scale. Some have been minor conflicts. So forecasting a war in the future is not a difficult thing”.
Defee also said she believes that Trump is unwilling to comply with a democratic Congress.
“In order for a war to start Congress must pull the trigger. Now he can ask for Congress to start a war – but he won’t because they just impeached him,” Defee said. “Anyone in their right mind knows that when you hit somebody, you should expect retaliation, and we struck at them and they struck back. And the fact that they pulled out of the nuclear deal was them saying, ‘hey we’re ready for anything you can throw at us'”.
Weeks into January and no further issues have reared their heads and matters have further deescalated as the EU stepped in to ease the tensions between the two countries.