Deteriorating US-Iran Ties
Tensions have been escalating between USA and Iran as Iran-backed armed forces recently launched an attack on an American embassy in Baghdad. The attack was a protest against the American attack on Kataib Hezbollah. Recently, Aramco’s fields were attacked by drones, for which US has blamed Iran. US announced to deploy troops in the Gulf region to protect it from Iranian invaders. Besides that Iran has been engulfed in anti-establishment protests on account of economic hardships faced by commons. During the protests, more than 1500 civilians are reported to have been killed by the authorities.
In what is being called as harsh retaliatory action, USA, on a green signal from Prez Trump, launched an airstrike on Baghdad International Airpot on Friday, early midnight. It killed the Quds Force Leader, Qasem Soleimani and Deputy Head of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. According to the Pentagon,” The move was a decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad that was intended to deter future Iranian attack plans.”. Pentagon has accused Soleimani and Quds Force of killing American soldiers, diplomats, and service member. It also held Soleimani responsible for the attack on December 27 that killed American contractors and Iraqi people.
Iran Warns of Harsh Revenge
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei condemned the attack and declared three-day mourning for Soleimani. Vowing to take revenge for the actions of America, Khamenei said harsh revenge awaits the criminals. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javed Zarif has called this move “an act of international terrorism” and an “extremely dangerous and foolish escalation“. Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi said that, “the assassination of Muhandis was an attack on the Iraqi state, government and people.”. Soon after, oil prices spiked amidst concerns that oil supply may be hindered by Middle East. Brent Crude Oil rose by 4.4% and touched $69.16.