The threat of a major escalation in Iran-US tensions appears to be rising following the death of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike in Iraq. General Soleimani, 62, was responsible for commanding the Quds Force and attained celebrity status as a military mastermind for Iran’s war efforts in Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon has accused Soleimani and his infamous military unit of being terrorists, and claims Soleimani was “developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members” in the region, reports the BBC. 

The killing has sparked a wildfire of fears across social media of a possible ‘World War 3’. A question many have is “Are those fears justified”.

Tensions have been growing between the US and Iran since 2018 when Washington announced it was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal. An independent US report warned that an all-out war was impending with Trump deciding to surround himself with hardliners in his administration. Those fears have been stoked by the killing this week of Soleimani in a drone strike on Baghdad International Airport. President Donald Trump, who ordered the attack, tweeted an image of the US flag shortly after the news broke. It appears that Trump is unlikely to back down from this situation meaning chances of World War 3 are increasing day by day. 

Another question many are asking is “Are the UK likely to get involved”

The UK has a history of diplomatic issues with Iran dating back to when they seized the Iranian Oil Tanker ‘Grace 1’ after discovering it was transporting oil to Syria, in violation of EU sanctions. However, I believe this history of disputes does not necessarily mean the UK is likely to get involved. At the current time, the US is a far greater threat and priority to Iran than the UK and I’m sure leaders in the UK would like to avoid war at all costs.