BY : APARNA RAJESH
Three days after the dawn of 2020, Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian Major General of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp, was announced dead by the United States authorities. The 62 year old was killed in a strike ordered by the US President Donald Trump. He was killed at the Baghdad airport. This action from the part of the USA has triggered a range of arguments and clashes between the two countries immersing the world into new political tensions. Soleimani was one of the most charismatic personalities in Iran and is known for his resistance against the ISIS. He is the one who is hailed for Bashar al Assad’s war in Syria and the ongoing war in Iraq. The US President’s explanation to the killing was that Soleimani was responsible for the death and wounds of thousands of Americans and that he was plotting to kill many more. The Pentagon statement describes: “At the direction of the president, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani.” But for Iran, it is indeed a grave issue of dignity. Their most important leader is killed, that too, with the US attacking him and members of other militia outside the area of its sovereignty. Therefore, in retaliation to the humiliation, Iran sent two rockets aiming the bases that houses the US troops with the US denying any casualties.
CURRENT ISSUE :
As a result of the ongoing tensions between the two countries, it is obvious from their part to impose sanctions on each other. The response to Iran’s attack on the American bases in Iraq was sanctions on Iran. The sanctions, according to the US Secretary of Treasury, not only aims to choke Iran but also Iran’s trading network.
It is for the second time that the US is imposing these sanctions on Iran. The United States claims to have imposed these sanctions as a result of the continuous aggression exerted by Iran. Steven Mnuchin, the US Secretary of Treasury, has said that the US has imposed, specifically, 17 various sanctions on Iran. This is to impose further restrains on the Iranian economy. It also imposes political restrictions by imposing sanction on the eight Iranian officials. This is applicable for those officials who were alleged by the US to be involved in the Iranian missile attack targeting the US troops in Iraq. The sanctions also targets the new Iranian economic sectors including its construction, textile, manufacturing and mining sectors.
QUESTION OF LAW :
In the month of June, the US, nearly a year after withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal had imposed considerable sanctions on Iran. This was done through the Executive Order of .It included the suspension of the Iranian assets in the US territory and the people who own the assets in the US. It also prohibits all the financial help from the American economic institutions to Iran. The sanction also prevents the Iranian officials and their allies into the US.
According to Mnuchin, these sanctions will continue until Iran stops the provocations from its side. The officials on whom the restrictions were imposed included Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, the deputy chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces and the Basij militia (a volunteer force exhibiting loyalty to the government) head, Gholamreza Soleimani. While the number of sanctions imposed were of economic nature, the Iranian officials focuses on its political dimension. Iran also ignores these sanctions maintaining that the US action, in no ways, will affect the Iranian economy. The commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guard also said that it will not compensate for the Iranian attack and that it will not restore the American pride.
The Joint Comprehensive Action Plan or commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal initiated in 2015 under the Obama administration was an important step towards the strengthening of ties between the US and Iran. The time was indeed hopeful for their bilateral relations. But the hope went downhill after the US Presidential Election when Donald Trump was elected the President. This deal also had the provision of removing all the sanctions and restrictions that would stand in the way of the smooth bilateral exchange between the two countries. In 2018, the US withdrew from the deal reinforcing the tensions.
It is indeed condemnable that such kind of provocations are taking place between these countries, that too, at a time when serious world problems are on the rise where all the countries have to work hand in hand to save the mankind. Instead, such kind of provocations and bilateral tensions that affect the world will indeed divert the world attention obscuring the real issues. These sanctions imposed by the US is sure to provoke Iran again leading to one problem after other. Indeed this attack itself has increased the oil prices worldwide. Instead of escalating the contention, the nations must focus on promoting peace.