The US and Iran: Was The Killing of Iran’s Top Military Leader Justified?

By: Courtney Suber

On January 3rd, 2020 a death and newfound conflict rung in the new year. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s top military leg, the Quds Force, was assassinated by the United States military. On different ends of the spectrum there was happiness and celebration versus sadness and mourning, the latter being experienced by primarily Shia’ Muslim Iranians.

Qassem Soleimani had a track record of being for the people, but at unreservedly any cost necessary. Whether it’s the production of proxy wars, violence against nationals of other countries, or enforcing anti-Sunni sentiments among his people, Soleimani believed heavily in nationalism. Iran in the past have committed human rights abuses and even as recently as January 12th, 2020 committed acts of violence against their own people, using live ammunition to disperse protestors.

Now this begs the question; how does this translate to the justification of Soleimani’s killing? This violence against foreign nationals has affected American’s on several occasions dating back to as far as 1953. A major case of this escalation is the kidnapping and detainment of 52 US citizens for more than a year in 1979. From this instance to the bombing of a US embassy there has been consistent escalation in the US’ case against Iran, the killing of Soleimani appearing as an attempt at ultimate revenge. With this we can determine that the US-Iran conflict was an escalating problem that was going to end with extreme results.

A series of questions can be curated and asked from this. Although the killing was justified in a sense of revenge killing, could the US have done something else? Did Soleimani deserve to be punished like such for his crimes? They’re all questions that are up to self-interpretation and personal morals and ethics.

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