Ahmad Reza Rouhollahzad
Iran responded to the US terror of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Deputy Commander of Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis by targeting US targets in Iraq early on Wednesday.
The attack targeted Ain al-Assad and al-Taji military bases five days after the terrorist act, symbolizing 52. Interestingly, US President Donald Trump has threatened earlier that the US will hit 52 Iranian targets in case Tehran responds to the US attack.
Iranian sources have reported the attack has left at least 80 soldiers dead and hundreds of others injured. But the US has claimed the attack left zero US casualties.
Trump’s conciliatory tone in his remarks Wednesday night indicated the US is unwilling to respond to Iran’s strike. But this does not mean Iran will stop retaliating for Soleimani’s death, as the country has said this is
only the beginning of Iran’s retaliation for the strike.
The US know conducting retaliatory strikes risks dragging the US into an all-out war in the region, as Iran is capable enough to deal further blows to the US.
The US act of terror against Soleimani created a big challenge for an Iran who saw its security interests and prestige at peril. In recent days, the US had sent messages to Iran through several channels to convince
the country either not respond the attack or give a coordinated response. They knew Iran would not accept such requests, but they aimed to soften Iran’s response.
But Iran had to respond because its failure to respond to the strike could lead to bigger threats against Iran’s interests. Since the US had claimed responsibility for the strike, Iran had to give an official, direct response.
The attack has severely damaged the US prestige, showing the country is no longer the self-proclaimed world police.
More importantly, the attack was another sign Iran is moving fast to become a regional power.
The post-WWll is fading away and the new order is shaping across the globe. Analysts believe the resistance axis, led by Iran, will be a major player in the emerging future.
The attack might lead US allies in the region to reconsider calculations and stop thinking they can buy security from abroad.
Hopefully, this could prepare the ground for the region to pay serious attention to Iran’s Hormuz peace initiative and join hands to promote peace and stability in the region.
One can expect a shift of political Mideast alliances defined by dependence and greater freedom for Muslim communities. The Iranian strike could also lead to redefinition of Europe’s friendship with the US, pushing
European countries to seek greater independence.
History might see the attack marking the death of a superpower and the birth of another superpower.