U.S – Iran Relations Escalating

January 2020 started with anything but a calm new year.


Zalkar Rysmendiev, Writer

On January 2nd, 2020, President Donald J. Trump sent a drone strike in Iran, killing a powerful Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, causing the tension between the two countries to heighten. With the situation quickly escalating, Iran responded by sending missiles to U.S bases located in Iraq, causing Trump to respond on Twitter with “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”

The airbases, fortunately, were prepared enough to handle the attack due to their suspicions that Iran would retaliate and attack. There haven’t been any reports of casualties so far. Iran defended this attack as just a “slap in the face” as compared to the assassination of their general Soleimani (Abdul-Ahad, 2020). Along with the airbases, many major U.S cities have increased security due to fear of another attack coming. Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, announced his efforts to protect high target locations and landmarks. Los Angeles joins them in their effort to keep cautious and vigilant of another strike asking citizens to speak up if they see something unusual (Helmore, 2020).

#WWIII started trending on Twitter after news of the attack was released causing a panic in the youth of America in fear of being drafted into another World War. What has the media so scared is how similar this situation is to World War I which was caused after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and they believe the same situation is happening now with the death of Qasem Soleimani. The media, however, responded in an odd way by making their fears of possible war into memes. Whether it’s on Tiktok or Twitter, people aren’t hesitating when it comes to entertainment even in an intense situation like this. Most people say they do this as a defense or coping mechanism to mask their fears with humor.

To further escalate the chaos, people have been sending fake emails and text messages from the U.S army stating that the person receiving the text is eligible for the draft and should head to their nearest military base. It wasn’t until the Army announced that these messages were fake for people to realize that they aren’t actually being drafted. Young adults between 18-25 should fear not, for people haven’t been drafted since Vietnam in 1973 since it was terminated. According to the NY Times “To reinstate a draft, Congress would have to pass a new law and the president would have to sign off” which would cause a political uproar (Mervosh, 2020).

A Ukrainian plane holding 176 people was recently shot down by Iranian missiles killing everyone on board. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admitted to this act and claims that the catastrophe was accidental and an “unforgivable” error. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps then confessed that the reason why they shot down the flight, was because they believed that it was a U.S missile. (Marcolini, 2020) The victims of the crash differed from Iranians to Canadians and even British nationals (BBC, 2020). Video of the accident emerged recently showing the missiles being fired and the impact against the plane itself. The disturbing scene then shows the plane being brought down while completely covered in flames. Although Iran has revealed that it was their forces that brought down the plane, they still believe that the U.S is also a part of the blame. From their standpoint, these problems are only occurring due to Trump’s order for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani (CBS, 2020).

Trump has stated that Iran “appears to be standing down” ever since the strike on the U.S military base in Iraq (Starr, 2020). Besides the downing of Ukrainian Flight 752, which Iran admits was a mistake, U.S and Iran relations seem to be calming down allowing for a big sigh of relief from the younger generations who feared another war was coming, but the U.S is staying vigilant with increased security throughout the states.