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Qassem Soleimani: What will Iran do now?

Qassem Soleimani: What will Iran do now?

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed "severe revenge" against the United States after Qassem Soleimani, one of Iran's top military commanders was killed by US forces.

It's currently uncertain as to how exactly Iran will respond to the killing, but the country will likely be considering its next actions. Depending on the scale of any response, it could risk escalation to further conflict or even all-out war.

One potential response could be retaliation by Iran in the form of missile attacks on US targets, though this may seem unlikely given the likely response it would provoke - further US strikes on Iranian soil. Other potential targets could be westerners or US bases in the Middle East. Iran may also consider cyberattacks or attacks against international shipping in the Gulf, potentially impacting the global trade of oil. 

On Thursday, the commander of the Quds force, previously run by general Qassem Suleimani before his death, advised Iranian's to "be patient" and witness the deaths of Americans across the Middle East.

In the US, Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer argued that President Donald Trump “does not have the authority for a war with Iran” and said that any large increase in troops or hostility over a longer period of time would require both the support of Congress and the American people. The statement came shortly after it was reported that the Pentagon was deploying around 3,500 more troops to the Middle East to respond to any threats in the region.

Mr Schumer also questioned what legal basis the President had for the strike on Suleimani, with the UN Rapporteur also calling the legal basis of the attack into question by describing it to "most likely violate international law".

The UK Government has "urged all parties to de-escalate" following the attack.

The US advised its citizens to leave Iraq 'immediately' earlier on Thursday, and the US and its allies will now likely be on high alert in preperation for any potential retaliation from Iran.

 

Photo: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei | Credit: Ali Khamenei website [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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