Jan 9 2020
Tensions which could escalate into a war between United States (US) and Iran eased off yesterday when it became apparent that the former was not going to forcefully retaliate for the missiles attack the previous day.
US president Donald Trump, who announced that there were no casualties in the attack said Iran appeared to be “standing down” after firing those missiles at two military bases housing US troops in Iraq.
He nonetheless promised to immediately impose “punishing” new economic sanctions on Iran.
Trump’s comments cooled what threatened to become a war between the two countries following tensions over US killing of Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack in Baghdad last Friday.
In New York, the Nasdaq stock market index surged to a record high of 9,129.24 following the US president’s statement.
Trump, who is currently facing an impeachment trial in Congress and a reelection at year end said in his statement that US has the right to kill Soleimani, describing the Iran’s national hero as a major terrorist figure.
Tensions between US and Iran intensified after Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from a multinational agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear programme, and his reimposition of sanctions against the country.
Meanwhile, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has described the missiles attack a “slap in the face” against US and indicated that more actions will follow.
Iran’s militia allies in Iraq were also saying that they intended to take revenge for the US drone attack which also killed one of their top commanders Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Yesterday evening, two rockets were fired by unidentified forces, into the Green Zone in Baghdad, where US and other embassies are located.