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Soleimani Assassination Marks 'Peak Hatred' In History Of U.S.-Iran Animosity

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tags: foreign policy, Iran, Soleimani Assassination, diplomatic relations



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MARTIN: So I want to ask you to put this killing in the larger context of the history of the U.S.-Iranian relationship, which, of course, goes back many, many years. And - but the relations between the two have been tense since at least the 1979 Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis that followed. And then, of course, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal that Iran had agreed to when the prior administration was in office. So if you - could you just put this event in the context of this? How significant is this event in this context?

SADJADPOUR: It's very significant. As you mentioned, we're now dealing with 40 years of acrimony between the United States and Iran after the 1979 revolution replaced the U.S.-allied monarch, the shah of Iran, with the U.S.-opposed theocracy led by Ayatollah Khomeini. And there've been various moments throughout this U.S.-Iran Cold War when we thought it could turn hot, and this is certainly one of these moments. We're kind of at peak hatred between the United States and Iran. Right now, the Iranian regime feels deeply aggrieved, deeply angry and deeply humiliated.

MARTIN: So what's your analysis, then, of what happens now? You mentioned that Iran feels humiliated. Does that indicate that they would feel a need to retaliate directly, to make it very clear that this is their response? Or do you think that the response might be through Iran's many proxies in the region, which, of course, Soleimani has been developing all these years? What do you see?

SADJADPOUR: Well, the irony here is that in an event like this, the person who would be entrusted with forming the Iranian response would, in fact, be Qassem Soleimani. And now that he's not around, you know, they obviously retain the regional proxies, and that's how Iran tends to like to operate. You try to act in a way that you have plausible deniability, try not to leave fingerprints. These days, in the era of drones, that's one more layer of deniability. But I expect over the course of the next six months to a year, we're going to see a lot of Iranian attempts to go after U.S. interests and U.S. allies - not just in the Middle East, but perhaps throughout the world.

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