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Iran strike: Is US ready for the consequences?

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Serious consequences are inevitable following the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of Al Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the moving spirit behind Iran’s success in beating the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda and stabilising the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria, in an American drone strike at Baghdad airport early on Friday morning. India has to seriously consider the fate of the six million-plus Indians in the Gulf countries and the impact of instability on oil prices and India’s trade.

A White House statement attributed the escalation directly to US President Donald Trump. It has evoked disparate reactions. The Iranians have vowed “vigorous revenge”, as Gen. Soleimani was adored by the Iranian masses with his posters adorning Tehran’s public spaces. Even more, it constitutes an escalating process of animosity between the United States and Iran, after President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran on becoming President in 2016. The present tit-for-tat cycle began with the US attack on the camps of Kataib Hezbollah, the Iran-supported militia in Iraq and Syria on December 27. Iran retaliated by unleashing its surrogates in Iraq on the US embassy in Baghdad. The US followed with Soleimani’s assassination.

The Russian foreign ministry has condoled the death, warning this will exacerbate tensions in the entire region. The Quds Force having been designated as a terrorist organisation by the US, the Democrats have been ambivalent in their reaction. Terming it legally tenable, they have warned of severe repercussions. Many on the........

© Deccan Chronicle