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January 2020 - Wide-ranging impact of Iranian commander's death

The Brief

January 13, 2019 

Wide-ranging impact of Iranian commander's death

President Donald Trump's order to kill Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on January 3 marked the latest flash point in the fraught relationship between the U.S. and Iran. As tensions between the two countries remain high, Johns Hopkins SAIS experts discuss the fallout from Soleimani’s death.

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion “By raising the stakes sharply, the thinking goes, Washington can shock Tehran and demonstrate how much the Iranian regime has to lose through further provocations." Read more

James Anderson Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies Sanam Vakil told NPR's KQED’s Forum that Trump didn’t properly consider the consequences of his order because it could “unleash a wave of uncertainty throughout the Middle East.” Listen here

Dean Eliot A. Cohen argued in The Atlantic that the Trump administration's lack of a cohesive plan regarding Soleimani’s killing and aftermath is “a recipe for strategic ineptitude, and possibly failure.” Read more

Following Iran firing missiles at two Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops on January 7, Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies Narges Bajoghli explained on WHYY’s Radio Times that the Iranians retaliated, but in a manner to “put the ball back in Trump’s court and not invite further escalation.” Listen here

Aronson Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies Sarah Parkinson cautioned on BBC Radio’s Up All Night that Soleimani’s death gives Iranian backed militia groups, such as the Hashed Al-Shabbi in Iraq or Hezbollah in Lebanon, the opportunity “to play the victim of U.S. imperialism in the region.” Listen here

Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs Vali Nasr predicted in The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. is gradually pushing Russia, China, and Iran together around a "common cause in standing up to America's use of maximum force." Read more

Additional content from our experts is included below.

Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Hafed Al-Ghwell 
Iraqis pay the price for U.S.-Iran confrontation. Arab News, 1/12
Iran-U.S. tensions. CGTN, 1/8

Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies Narges Bajoghli 
What killing of top Iranian general means for nuclear deal and the U.S. in Middle East. PBS NewsHour, 1/6
Fallout continues to mount following the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top military commander Qassem Soleimani. Democracy Now, 1/6
Iran says it no longer will honor nuclear enrichment limits under 2015 pact. The Wall Street Journal, 1/5
Suleimani’s death changes nothing for Iran. The New York Times, 1/3

Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Eric Edelman
Hostilities with Iran began in ’79. The Wall Street Journal, 1/8

Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Edward P. Joseph
What is Iran thinking now? RealClearWorld, 1/6
Director of Strategic Studies Mara Karlin
Why did the Pentagon ever give Trump the option of killing Soleimani? The Washington Post, 1/10
U.S.-Iran tensions. Voice of America, 1/10
Foreign policy experts weigh in on Trump’s Iran strategy. PBS NewsHour, 1/7
The Soleimani killing and the implications for the U.S. and Middle East. AirTalk, 1/3
Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies John McLaughlin
‘Four embassies’: The anatomy of Trump’s unfounded claim about Iran. The Washington Post, 1/13
What’s next for Iran? The Cipher Brief, 1/6

Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Afshin Molavi
After retaliation, Iran’s 40-year conflict with U.S. likely to return to the shadows. TIME, 1/8
Associate Professor of the Practice of International Relations Yascha Mounk
Trump’s White House address targets two audiences. Los Angeles Times, 1/8

Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs Vali Nasr
U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran. Bloomberg, 1/10
How dangerous is the situation between Iran and the U.S.? Al Jazeera, 1/8
Trump’s inaccurate statements about the conflict with Iran. The New York Times, 1/8
The nightmare stage of Trump’s rule is here. The New York Times, 1/6
Making of a martyr: How Qassem Suleimani was hunted down. The Guardian, 1/5
Iranians close ranks behind leaders after U.S. kills popular general. The New York Times, 1/4
Has the U.S. overplayed its hand by killing top Iranian general? MSNBC, 1/4
Death of Soleimani could trigger major U.S. escalation with Iran. NBC News, 1/3
The meaning of Qassem Soleimani’s death in the Middle East. The New Yorker, 1/3
Director of Conflict Management and Director of American Foreign Policy Daniel Serwer
Trump says killing Iranian general will prevent war, but experts have doubts. Sinclair Broadcast Group, 1/3

James Anderson Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies Sanam Vakil
Iran cracks down as protests over downing of airliner grow. The New York Times, 1/12
The Middle East's Che Guevara? Killing elevates Soleimani as icon, martyr. Agence France-Presse, 1/9
Iran attack: Who are the winners and losers in the crisis? BBC, 1/9
European diplomats scramble to cool tensions in Iran-U.S. conflict. NBC News, 1/6
Khamenei wants to put Iran’s stamp on reprisal for U.S. killing of top general. The New York Times, 1/6
Qassem Soleimani's assassination opens a Pandora's box in the Middle East. Time, 1/3

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