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article imageOp-Ed: US threatens to assassinate new Iranian Quds commander

By Ken Hanly     Jan 24, 2020 in Politics
The US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani the commander of the Iranian Quds Force earlier this month almost started a war. Iran retaliated with a missile attack January 8 on two US bases in Iraq causing a number of brain injuries to US soldiers.
US official threatens new Iranian commander of Quds Force
US special representative for Iran Brian Hook is now threatening Soleimani's successor with assassination if he attacks US interests. The US appears to believe it has the right to assassinate anyone it pleases anywhere in the world even when there is no imminent threat so that the assassination will often be illegal.
Iran quickly appointed General Esmail Ghaani as the new head of the Quds force after Soleimani was assassinated. Ghaani has made it clear that he intends to follow the same path as his predecessor. A recent article notes: "After his appointment, Ghaani said he would “continue in this luminous path” taken by Soleimani and that the goal was to drive US forces out of the region, Iran’s long-stated policy."
Hook said that if Ghaani followed the same path as Soleimani of killing Americans he would meet the same fate as Soleimani. The US would execute a decisive response if there were any attacks on American or US interests. Hook's remarks make no mention of the recent Iraqi parliament resolutions passed 170 to 0 demanding that all foreign troops leave Iraq. The million man march organized by the Shia Mullah al-Sadr surely shows that the US troop presence in Iraq is very unpopular. The Iraqi government is unlikely to survive unless there is some agreement with the US about withdrawal. Some militias will probably attack US bases again unless there are clear signs of action from the Iraqi government.
The US action likely to escalate violence against their troops in Iraq
An Iranian Foreign Ministry
spokesperson condemned Hook's statement: "The US threat to kill Ghaani is a sign of “governmental terrorism”, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday, according to the official IRIB news agency. These words are an official announcement and a clear unveiling of America’s targeted and governmental terrorism,” Mousavi said, calling on the international community to condemn Hook’s comments." The US policy is nothing new and it is unlikely that many if any US allies will care to challenge the policy even though it appears ti be clearly in conflict with international law.
The US policy is bound to raise tensions. The US does not seem to care that keeping troops in Iraq, given the anger against their being there, is bound to result in new attacks on US interests in Iraq. Yet the US has so far not even engaged in any talks with Iraqi authorities on US troop withdrawal. In Iraq it is the US not the Iraqi government that is sovereign. However, that sovereignty is bound to come under attack given the public desire to have the US troops leave. The US policy helps strengthen Iranian influence in Iraq even though the US wants to weaken it. Instead of any peaceful resolution of the situation one can expect more violence and an even stronger reaction against any US retaliation.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Iran US relations, Quds forces, Brian Hook
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