TOPIC: General Studies 2:
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora
US-Iran: Qassem Soleimani , the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force Killed
- Tensions between the United States and Iran escalated after a US air raid killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, or PMF.
- These deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the region against Israel and US interests.
- Soleimani, had a unique celebrity status among Iran’s military leaders, was highly popular among the hardliners.
- He was very close to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who once called him a “living martyr of the revolution”.
- He was also the main architect of Iran’s recent foreign operations, mainly in Syria and Iraq, which were crucial in saving the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and defeating the Islamic State (IS) in both countries.
- The attack has already killed off even the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal.
- Iran might see this as an act of war like any sovereign country would do.
- It could trigger multiple attacks across the region, destabilising it further, cause heavy casualties and help the jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and the IS regroup and re-emerge.
- Resumed attacks on oil tankers and other low hanging but high value economic targets, particularly in the oil sector
Impact on India:
- India need to be on the right side of the U.S., our ties with Iran, have their own geostrategic logic.
- Rises India’s oil import bill
- Creates difficulties in supplies,
- The safety of an estimated eight million expatriates in the Gulf may be affected.
- Iran has the capacity to influence the U.S.-Taliban peace process in Afghanistan which could impact India
- The possibility of some of Shia Muslims being radicalised by this event cannot be ruled out.
- U.S. President Donald Trump is responsible for where U.S.-Iran ties stand today as he single-handedly destroyed the co-operation between the two nations established by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by unilaterally pulling the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018 and reimposing sanctions on Iran.
- By sabotaging the fragile peace negotiated over years between world powers, Mr. Trump, in a single act, pushed both the U.S. and Iran down a dangerous slope.
Connecting the dots:
- How to think Iran – US relations Impacts India?
- What would be the next step of Iran?