Donald Trump

It didn’t take long for the shine to come off the new decade. Just three days into the Twenties, top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad. Soleimani was considered by many to be the second most powerful person in Iran, and the assassination has plunged US-Iran relations to their lowest point since the 1979 hostage crisis. But could it lead to war?

Following the killing, the hashtag #WWIII began trending on Twitter. It’s important not to overreact: this will not be a “Franz Ferdinand” moment leading to another world war. It will, however, significantly escalate tensions between Iran and the US, risking a full-blown regional conflict unless calmer heads prevail.

President Trump has said he does not want a war. The US government argues that General Soleimani had been masterminding attacks on American forces in the Middle East, and was planning a series of “imminent” operations in the region before he was killed. Indeed, the Quds Force that Soleimani commanded has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United States since 2007.

Nevertheless, Iran is expected to retaliate. If this, in turn, provokes an escalation from the US then the two countries could become embroiled in a cycle of tit-for-tat actions and reactions. Without either side necessarily wanting it, such a dynamic could certainly lead to war (particularly if communication between Washington and Tehran has broken down).

How would this affect Europe? It is very unlikely we’ll see another ground invasion along the lines of the 2003 war in Iraq. Nevertheless, a US-Iran conflict could easily result in further destabilisation in the region (no doubt exploited by groups like IS and Al-Qaeda), Iranian cyber and proxy attacks globally, millions of refugees, and disruption of oil supplies and commercial shipping, not to mention the enormous cost in terms of civilian casualties.

Will Europe be dragged into a war with Iran? Was the killing of Iran’s top general legal? How should European countries respond? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions

Image Credits: BigStock (c) shganti777

37 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    No, because in case Europeans should defend from Iran, they are able to do. But never been dragged.

    • avatar

      but what about if USA apply pressure to the European countries to take active part, let’s say for a invasion in Iran?

    • avatar

      We are all members in one alliance

    • avatar

      alliances are based on mutual interests
      What we’re going to gain with an invasion in Iran?
      An old quote goes ” in a alliance someone must be the rider and someone the ride ” which shade you think we stand?

    • avatar

      Reciprocity, the exchanging of mutual services for a common benefit. In this case a mutual defence. There is treaty and all the members must follow the treaty’s rules.

  2. avatar

    “be dragged” – … like a child by its parent USA?

    • avatar

      @George like most countries during ww1 and ww2?

  3. avatar

    Maybe, but only the countries from Eastern Europe.

    • avatar

      @Christo isn’t unfair for those countries to by used as ” bumper zones ” ?

  4. avatar

    It depends on what the oligarchy wants.

  5. avatar

    All this is because he wants to save Turkey

  6. avatar

    NO we should stop all Wars. We are the ones who directly face the immigration crisis when wars and instability continues to happen in the middle east . And we dont go to wars because someones ego is rubbed wrong.

  7. avatar

    ope. I assume thankfully Borell told the Iranian foreign minister that Trump is isolated and alone on this one. A state Trump created himself by unilaterally violating the nuclear deal and now not notifying allies about the plan he does not have.
    Trump thinks NATO ows HIM because they get to much money (Doesn’t work that way but HE, the deranged idiot president thinks it works that way).
    He thinks allies should behave like vassals because he sees them as lesser countries in his brain dipped in American Fox News nationalism.

    • avatar

      people like trump believe that alliance means that someone going to be the rider and someone the ride , we should prove him wrong- for our own good

  8. avatar

    I think the EU should step forward to mediate and promote the de-escalation of hostilities and get diplomacy back on the table. Although with such a reckless and unpredictable president like Trump I’m not quite sure it’ll be an easy task to achieve.

    • avatar

      @Marco too many reckless players, trump, Erdogan , Iran… it won’t work

  9. avatar

    Yes and with that destroy itself. When Blair sided with Bush’s oil war Labour was ruined for ever. Now Europe will do the same.

  10. avatar

    No . There will be no war. Trump does the right thing. Iran is Evil

    • avatar

      Iran is evil? So is Trump.

    • avatar

      dont agree

  11. avatar

    This is why Europe needs an European army…

  12. avatar

    We don’t have foreign policy strategy or for defence.We don’t count,a few romanian or polish batallions won’t make a difference.

  13. avatar

    f we’re stupid enough.. US will drag us in a no-ending war from whom we have nothing to gain ,only loose
    Europe should barricade and brace for the impact

  14. avatar

    Maybe not, but the consequences will only hit Europe, such as war refugees

  15. avatar

    When people talking too much on war, war will happen. Why can’t you people not talking more on peace, things can always be solved in peaceful way. If Europe submit to the hegemony of an aggressive military superpower, Europe will be dragged into a war with Iran. When dragged into war with Iran, which means also war with Russia and even Syria and Iraq. In this way, Europe is committing suicide.

  16. avatar

    Let the enemy of Iran go to war with Iran. If Europe does not want to go into a war, who can drag Europe? Europe is sovereign and independent.

  17. avatar

    The only way to prevent Europe from being dragged into a war with Iran and Russia, Europe must end its military alliance with the US via the NATO, particularly when the US has failed its many challenges against China and struggling from the rocket rising inflation, US foreign policy is growing highly irrational and aggressive.

  18. avatar

    It is suicidal if dragged into hot or cold war before the pandemic can be controlled and economic recovered. Individual rights should be submitted to collective security.

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