The Student News Site of Ballard High School



Follow Us on Instagram

Iran and other buzz words

Death of Iranian General sparks controversey

Piper Sloan, Editor in Chief
Originally published January 24, 2020

On Jan. 3 of this year, US military forces assassinated Iran’s top security and intelligence commander General Qasem Soleimani, quickly escalating the conflict between the two nations. 

    Although it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact start date of the conflict between these two nations, tension has existed for well over 60 years. While early conflict is often attributed to foreign occupation and competition over resources, recent issues have been much more centered around competing nuclear arsenals and military capacity. 

    Over the past two years, both countries have reduced their commitments to the UN Nuclear Deal, President Trump having quit the deal entirely, and each tied the other to terrorism in one form or another. With tensions already high, the decision to assassinate Soleimani marked an unprecedented spike in conflict. 

    The drone strike, which killed several Iraqi military officials alongside Soleimani, elicited a violent response from Iran, which took shape of firing missiles at Iraqi bases that house US troops. Although nobody was killed in this attack, an intentional move by Iranian forces, it brought about notions of an impending war. 

    The conflict has since deescalated, though tensions remain high, and the two countries have pulled back from the brink of war, but that hasn’t slowed the outpour of memes joking about an impending WWIII and US draft. 

    The widespread circulation of these memes, hyperbolic and factually inaccurate by nature, has somewhat overshadowed the discussion and legitimate details of the conflict, leaving a wake of confusion and uncertainty behind them. So what actually happened? And where do we really stand?

2020 events

Assassination of General Qasem Soleimani – Jan 3

    President Trump ordered a drone missile strike on General Qasem Soleimani. The top Iranian general was assassinated alongside several Iraqi military officials outside the Baghdad International Airport, a move that was previously avoided by former presidents for fear that it was too provocative. Trump proclaimed that this attack was necessary to prevent “imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel” that Soleimani was reportedly plotting. 

    The attack outraged Iranian officials, who vowed retaliation against US forces. Major General Hossein Dehghan, the military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, was quoted in a CNN interview telling reporters that they planned to retaliate directly against US “military sites.”


Iran bombing of iraqi bases – Jan 7

    Ultimately, Iran retaliated by firing missiles at Iraqi bases currently being used to house American troops. Although the attack reportedly involved over 20 ballistic missiles there were no American or Iraqi casualties.

General Amir Hatami, Iranian defense minister, explained in a statement given to the press that “the [US] knew our revenge was coming, so they had made some preparations.” These preparations prevented any lives from being lost, but the attack still stands as a symbol of revenge from Iranian forces. 

Despite this retaliation, Trump maintained in an address to the nation that “Iran appears to be standing down,” indicating a halt in conflict escalation between the two nations.

Trump imposes additional economic sanctions against iran – Jan 8

    Following the Iran attack on US-Iraqi bases, Trump addressed the nation promising to impose “punishing” economic sanctions against Iran. Prior to the Iranian retaliation, Trump announced his plan to raise sanctions if Iranian forces sought revenge, but administration officials revealed that they had no specific plan to do so.

Although these sanctions could be considered further retaliation, the decision to respond to Iran’s action diplomatically, as opposed to using more military force, represents a step back from the brink of war. Trump emphasized this point by announcing that the US was “ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.” Though this marked a rapid de-escalation of conflict between the two nations, there remains significant tension. 

Iran shoots down ukranian passenger jet – Jan 11

    Ukraine International Flight 752 crashed on Jan. 7 just seven minutes after taking off from Iran, killing all 176 passengers on board. The circumstances of the crash were originally unclear, with some theorizing that it was to do with technical issues on the Boeing 737-800. 

    Despite initially denying any involvement, Iran admitted on Jan. 11 that they had mistakenly fired the two missiles that brought down the passenger jet. The Iranian military stated that their mistake was due to human error and attributed their misjudgement to the plane’s sharp and unexpected turn toward a sensitive military base, especially at a moment of heightened tensions. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talisman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ballard High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Talisman

Comments (0)

All Talisman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Iran and other buzz words