HARRISBURG, Pa. — Tensions between the U.S. and Iran remain high despite an apparent de-escalation from further military conflict.
After the Jan. 3 killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Tehran retaliated with missile attacks Jan. 8 on the Asad and Erbil military bases in Iraq, where American troops were stationed. There were no casualties, however, and officials from both Iran and the U.S. have said they don’t want war.
An Iranian commander said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (FARSI) never intended to kill any Americans with the strikes. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of FARSI’s Aerospace Force, said at a press conference Jan. 9:
“We, as I mentioned, our intention was not after killing any one, but definitely in this action many people, tens of people, were killed and injured. Its counts will eventually come out. If we were after killing, bottom line, we could have designed this action to kill 500 people of them. And if they carried any action against us, then we would not have any obligation to prevent loss of American life. And if the actions had continued, we could have definitely kill 5,000 of them.”
War is against the best interests of both countries, according to one professor at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Mehdi Noorbkash, who was born in Iran, said the consequences of a war would go well beyond the Middle East.
“If there is a war, soldiers from all over the country will have to go to that part of the world,” Noorbkash said.
With 19 percent of the world’s oil traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, a war in the Middle East would raise gas prices globally.
“Any war in that part of the world will impact the global economy,” Noorbkash said.
As leaders in both countries have stood down, the threat of immediate war has cooled. Yet both sides have returned to strong rhetoric. President Donald Trump promised to impose further sanctions on Iran, while senior Iranian commander Abdollah Araghi claimed Iran would soon take “harsher action.”