Is War Possible Between Iran and the United States?

by Shatakshi Gupta

The death of Major General Qassem Sulemani opened the door for fresh tensions in the Middle East Region of the world. Sulemani was the head of Quds force which is a most crucial arm of Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps( IRGC), he was assassinated by the United States in a drone strike in Baghdad. And this move of Washington brought the world on the brink of a major war, in fact, some speculated it as embarkment of third world war. Why this was so significant? Is there a possibility of a full-fledged war between the U.S. and Iran? We will some points regarding these questions.

Why this assassination is so significant?

General Sulemani was the most important military leader of Iran, he was the chief strategist of Iran. He strengthened the presence of Iran in the Middle East region. These were the reason due to which Sulemani was no more soothing to Washington’s eye. The U.S. designated Sulemani as a terrorist last year. This increased the ongoing tensions between two nations, this was the first time when a formal military general was designated as a terrorist. The U.S. also alleges Iran for major attacks in the region like, attack on oil tankers, Aramco attack and blame Iran and specifically General Sulemani for instability in the whole region. Amid these tensions U.S. embassy in Iraq was attacked by militias supported by Iran this incident raged Mr. Tump so badly, he ordered a drone strike on  General Sulemani convoy. This airstrike shook the world as no one was expecting such a whimsical move. The United States did not even talk about this to its major allies in the region i.e, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

After Effects of Sulemani’s death

Most of the countries remain silent on this they neither appreciate nor they condemned the killing. This silence was due to the influential position of the U.S. in the world, but this was obviously not the welcome move for the world. There were demands from the mass of Iran to take revenge of their commander’s death. The same sentiment could be observed in Iraq also. People in Iraq want the removal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Further, the Iranian parliament declared the U.S military a terror organization. After this Iran attacked the U.S. embassy and U.S. military base with missiles. This threatened the world, people started talking about the possibility of third world war. Though Mr. Trump claimed “all is well” after this attack and he said no casualty is reported, but a recent report says that the soldiers who were present at the base during the attack are going through mental trauma.

Is a full-fledged war possible?

Belligerents here are very aggressive, on the one hand, there is Mr. Trump who is famous for his hard-line approach and whimsical nature. He does not hesitate much to take any bold move and on another hand, there is a nation that is known for its proxy network across the region. There was a slew of warnings from both sides. Prima facie it appeared that both will attack each other directly but there are some deterrents as well. First, we will discuss why Iran will not prefer to directly hit the U.S.A. Iran knows very well that its opponent is currently the mightiest in the world. Iran is aware that Whitehouse holds the capability of hitting and destroying Iran badly in a few minutes. Also, Iran is going through an economic crisis due to sanctions imposed by the United States when it was already under the blacklist of FATF( FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE). By engaging in war with the U.S. will bring no fruits for Iran in any way.

Now, you may be thinking that Iran is weaker than the U.S.A, then why Mr. Trump didn’t take any further step after Iran’s attack, here is the reason. This year elections are going to be held in the United States and Mr. Trump promised the withdrawal of American troops from the middle east, but if he engaged in war this will further deteriorate the situation and it would next to impossible to withdraw the army from the region. The U.S also knows that the strong non-state actor’s network of Iran is so deep-rooted in MENA (MIDDLE EAST AND NORTHERN AFRICA) region. This non-state actor-network can hamper the major investment and military base of the U.S.A in this region. Also, direct confrontation made U.S. allies in the Middle East susceptible to attack by Iran. The U.S.A. might also be not interested in attracting international criticism by taking any such step.

These are some deterring factors but any further escalation is not desirable as these factors also have a threshold point after which they will not be able to hold both the countries. At this point in time countries that maintained good ties with both nations like India and major European nations should come forward and facilitate talks between both and promote peace in the region.