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Was Soleimani’s killing justified? Yes. A million times yes ǀ View


As we take stock of General Qassem Soleimani’s death, contemplating both its significance in the coming weeks and what it signifies for the future, there are two points to be considered.

Firstly, why did it happen and was it justified? Secondly, what does it mean for geopolitical relations in the Middle East and around the globe?

The first question, to my mind, is the simpler of the two. President Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani may have caught the world by surprise, but it is not without context.

In 2015, the United States withdrew its support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran Nuclear Deal as it became known, believing that its sunset clauses only guaranteed a delay to Iran’s nuclear ambitions while doing little to alter the Islamic Republic’s fundamentally adversarial attitude to both the West and Israel, which it has frequently vowed to destroy.

Since then, America has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure”, seeking to shut down Iran’s access to international finance and force its leaders to return to the negotiating table. In retaliation, Tehran has stepped up its activities across the Middle East, most notably by propping up Bashar al-Assad in Syria as well as rearming Hezbollah in Lebanon and stoking a brutal civil war in Yemen.