The recent surge in tensions between Iran and the United States after the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani has sparked discussion of a potential ‘World War III.’
The phrase trended top on Twitter after the Pentagon announced the killing of the commander on Thursday when users around the world expressed fear of a war breaking out between the two countries.
Soleimani’s death carried huge significance as he was known to be the mastermind behind Iran’s military strategies. While the West saw him as a nefarious figure, he possessed a celebrity status in his home country. Ayatollah Ali Khameini once described him as a ‘living martyr.’
Iran confirmed today it launched “tens” of surface-to-surface missiles at two military bases – Al Asad and Erbil in Iraq – that house US troops. The Pentagon says the bases came under fire from at least a dozen ballistic missiles and there was no doubt, the missiles were launched from Iran.
In a statement, the Pentagon said the goal of the target was to “deter future Iranian attack plans” and it was carried out to “protect US personnel abroad.”
On Tuesday, millions of people attended the funeral For Soleimani. Iran honored a single individual with a ceremony held in more than one city for the first time.
Can General Soleimani’s assasination start a Third World War?
Al Jazeera journalist based in Doha, Stan Grant writes that it could be considered absurd given the US’s power over Iran’s:
“(Iran)’s population is a quarter of the size of America’s, its economy is barely 2 per cent as large. Its outdated weapons are no match for the most powerful military force the world ever known.”Al Jazeera
Although this might seem obscure at first, as the journalist writes, Iran’s size should not be taken for granted. A former senior US National Security Council official said on Al Jazeera last week that the United States’s toughest adversary is none other than Iran itself.
She adds, “Iran is more daunting than Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Cong, or the Taliban, Al Qaeda or Islamic State.”Al Jazeera
Iran has a huge military as well as a nuclear program. It is important for the Middle East because of its geography, and it borders the Strait of Hormuz making it rich in resources.
Ever since it seized power in the 1979 revolution, Iran’s clerical regime has persevered in the face of war, revolt, and ruined economic sanctions,
Interestingly, the journalist said, “Iran would not capitulate as quickly as Saddam’s Iraq or Gaddafi’s Libya. Anyway, its leaders are too shrewd to invite an Iraq-style US invasion with American troops rolling down the streets of Tehran. That’s not something that would appeal to America either.”Al Jazeera
After the 9/11 attacks, America was never the same. Grant calls Soleimani’s assassination more significant and bigger than Bin Laden’s killing.
Soleimaini was a hero in Iran, a revered figure in line for the next presidency. He was responsible for building a network of proxies, including Hezbollah in Lebanon. He witnessed the protests across Lebanon and Iraq calling to cease sectarianism.
US president Donald Trump led the attack on the premier general and Iran has vowed ‘severe revenge.’ Social media users anticipate a World War Three breaking out. The dire consequences of war is also causing concern on the internet with people pondering over what this war could account for in the long run.
Grant adds that World War III could possibly look nothing like World War I or II.
However, given America’s dominance and power, the world could be treading dangerous waters.