Iran Retaliates Over U.S Air Strike

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Iran Retaliates Over U.S Air Strike

Tiffany Zhu, Staff Writer

On Jan. 2, President Trump authorized an air strike on Baghdad, killing General Quassem Suleimani along with several Iraqi officials. President Trump defended his actions by saying that he “took action to stop a war.” The Trump administration accused Gen. Suleimani of plotting an attack on American diplomats and military personnel. Gen. Suleimani had played an important role in the Islamic Republic’s military operations by supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Hezbollah party in Lebanon. 

Iraq retaliated by voting to remove U.S troops from their country. In response, President Trump threatened to impose heavy sanctions. 

He said,“It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame…. If there’s any hostility, [if] they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”

On Jan. 6, the Pentagon shipped 2,500 U.S Marines to the Persian Gulf. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he believed that Iraq needed a U.S. presence to maintain peace. 

Iran will no longer uphold the 2015 nuclear accord, which was put in place to restrict its uranium activities. However, Iran hinted that there was a possibility it would abide by the restrictions if sanctions were eased. 

On Jan. 5, President Trump threatened to attack Iran’s cultural sites, which, if carried out, would violate the Geneva Convention. In 1949, the Geneva Convention established a set of rules that countries must follow to maintain humanitarian treatment in war. Since then, President Trump has acknowledged that attacking Iranian cultural sites is a war crime and backed down from his threats.

On Jan. 7, Iran launched continuous missiles directed at U.S. bases in Iraq. According to a U.S. defense official, Iran launched 15 missiles. Of those 15 missiles, 11 hit their targets. Ten of the missiles attacked the Ain al-Asad Air Base, where 1,500 U.S. military and coalition members were stationed. The 11th missile hit the Combined Joint Operations Center in Irbil, where Kurdish fighters are trained. There have been no American or Iraqi casualties reported. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif sent a tweet suggesting that Iran would back down before tensions could escalate further. He wrote, “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting [the] base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched. We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.” 

As of Jan. 8, President Trump has delivered a statement from the White House, addressing the Iranian activity post-missile attacks. 

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.”

He responded to the missile attacks by imposing additional sanctions on Tehran.  

“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”

 

Photo courtesy of NYTIMES.COM