WION Edit: US-Iran conflict - what's next?

Delhi Jan 09, 2020, 03.53 PM(IST) Written By: WION

File Photo Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

While most countries have urged both the countries to calm down, the chances of a full-blown conflict remain at large.

The biggest question across the world right now is Iran retaliating against the US. The missile attacks on Iraqi bases hosting US personnel is Iran's revenge for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

Experts say that this was aimed at satisfying the domestic audience in Tehran. 

With missile attacks, Iran's Supreme Leader has used a dangerous language, "Slap on the face of the US, but such military actions are not enough".

Iran's strikes were highly symbolic. It happened around the same time as Soleimani's killing on Friday - 1.30 am.

Like Donald Trump, many Iranian officials tweeted pictures of the national flag. And Iranian media is hailing the strikes, but there is no clarity on the casualties.

Upon closer look, it is clear that Iran targetted bases that were on high alert. Foreign Minister of Iran says that the strikes were in 'self-defence' and 'within the boundaries of international law'.

Meanwhile, after the attacks, President Trump tweeted "All is well", "So Far So Good". He also highlighted America's military might.

The 'All is Well' comment does not mean that the US will not attack Iran if provoked further. Right now, there is a chance for both the parties to de-escalate the conflict. 

But the question is, will the US take that chance? Will Iran refrain from further attacks?

These are the important questions, but it is unwise to look for clear answers at this juncture. There are many reasons for this lack of clarity.

First, Iran did not show any regard for Iraq's sovereignty. This could be a sign of things to come.

Iran runs many proxy wars in the region outside the range of the US counter strikes - the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Iran could initiate conflicts in these regions simultaneously. Second, Iran can continue with its typical dangerous tactics, like rocket strikes on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and cyber warfare.

Three, if US President Donald Trump is unpredictable, then Iran's Supreme Commander Khamenei wants more revenge.

While most countries have urged both the countries to calm down, the chances of a full-blown conflict remain at large. Israel has given its complete backing to the US.

But now, it is a game of who-blinks-first. Iran wants to end the presence of America in the region, but Trump won't take any attack from Iran lying down.

Both the sides have an option now to de-escalate, but the rhetoric from Tehran is worrisome - for regional peace, global peace and global economy.

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)