On 3rd January 2020, US President Donald Trump announced that US forces had killed Major-General Qassem Soleimani of Iran through a targeted missile attack on his convoy as it left Baghdad International Airport. Along with General Soleimani, General Abud Mahdi al-Muhandis of the Iraqi Army and eight other officials were killed in this attack. The cowardly killings of the leaders of the armed forces of Iran and Iraq on the soil of Iraq are a gross violation of all international conventions, as the US has not declared war on either Iran or Iraq.
Protests in the US demanding “US out of Iraq” in Philadelphia (top), New York (middle) and
Protesters outside the US Embassy in Baghdad demanding US out of Iraq
News of the death of General Soleimani has been received with great outrage and mass protests in Iran. The government of Iran declared publicly that it would avenge the killing of General Soleimani at an appropriate time. General Soleimani was one of the most well-known Iranian Generals and head of Iran’s Quds Force. The Quds Force is part of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s), which is charged with the defence of Iran and its allies from any imperialist offensive. In recent years, Iran has strengthened political and military collaboration with Iraq and Syria to defend the sovereignty of these countries from US sponsored terrorist groups such as the ISIS.
On January 8, the government of Iran announced that its armed forces had successfully targeted two US military bases in Iraq through missile strikes, resulting in the death of 80 US personnel. US President Trump responded to this missile attack on US bases in Iraq by declaring that “Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward.”
Trump is lying through his teeth about the real source of the threat to peace and the sovereignty of countries of West Asia. The whole world knows that it is US imperialism and its allies that organised the destruction of Iraq and Libya, and unleashed the civil war in Syria. The US has been trying to bring the government and people of Iran onto their knees through military encirclement and strangulating the Iranian economy.
The peoples of the countries of West Asia who have been the victims of the violence, terror, mayhem and wars unleashed by the US and its allies are clearly coming to the conclusion that throwing out US military forces out of West Asia is the necessary condition for peace in the region.
Iraqi people mourned the deaths of the victims of the US drone strike and called for the harshest action against the US. The Iraqi government has declared three-day mourning. Demonstrators burnt American and British flags and condemned the brazen violation of Iraqi sovereignty by the US. They protested at the US Embassy in Baghdad, spraying anti-American graffiti on the walls.
The Iraqi Parliament has voted to expel all US troops from their country. The resolution by the Iraqi parliament reflects the deep sense of hatred of the Iraqi people for the US and their determination to throw all US forces out of their country and defend their sovereignty. US President Trump has responded by threatening to impose sanctions on Iraq.
The killing of General Soleimani brings the US and Iran another step closer to war. Trump announced deployment of thousands of additional troops to West Asia. He also announced further sanctions on Iran. Yet, in the most cynical manner, he declared that “the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it”. The track record of the US gives lie to this statement.
World over, there is severe condemnation of the targeted assassination by the US of the Iranian General on Iraqi soil. It is a gross violation of the sovereignty of Iraq. Further it is a blatant provocation against Iran that increases the danger of a devastating war in the region.
Iran is a major roadblock to the plans of the US for establishing its complete domination over the oil-rich West Asia region. That is why the US is relentlessly targeting Iran, organising one provocation after another.
Iran has dealt with these provocations with firmness in safeguarding its sovereignty. In June 2019, Iranian forces shot down an unmanned US military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz and in July 2019 it seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait which was violating maritime regulations.
The US has spared no trick to frame Iran for all violence in the West Asian region. Each time, there has been an attack on oil tankers and installations, military bases, etc., of the US and its allies like Saudi Arabia, the US has pointed fingers at Iran, without any basis for its allegations. Going by the US’ record of staging provocations against countries that it seeks to paint as the perpetrators of aggression, it cannot be ruled out that the US and its allies carried out these acts to shift the blame on Iran and justify its plans to invade Iran.
The US has intensified its military encirclement and economic blockade of Iran after withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018. This treaty was negotiated with Iran in July 2015, by the US together with the UK, China, France, the EU, Russia and Germany. Sanctions on Iran were to be lifted according to the treaty in return for Iran stopping its nuclear program. Having unilaterally walked out of the agreement, the US imposed sanctions on Iran again in August 2018, and has been forcing other countries to the agreement to do the same; else they cannot do business with the US.
In May 2019, the US launched its latest round of provocations against Iran. On that day, it announced the withdrawal of the waivers that had allowed China, South Korea, Japan, India and Turkey to continue purchasing oil from Iran. Simultaneously, it imposed a new round of sanctions aimed at halting all exports of Iranian iron, steel, aluminum and copper.
The economic strangulation of Iran has been combined with military encirclement and threat of imminent war. The US is doing everything possible to pressurize Iran to give up its sovereign right to pursue its own economic and political course, free from external imperialist interference. It has been building a military coalition of states in West Asia, to attack Iran.
The US must be held squarely responsible for the extremely dangerous situation in West Asia. The Communist Ghadar Party supports the call of the governments of Iran and Iraq for expelling all US forces from West Asia. This is necessary for ensuring peace in the region.