US Iran conflict came to few steps step closer after Qassem Soleimani was killed on 3rd January in a US drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport. After this attack media talked about all the possible consequences like ‘world war 3’ etc etc. So, In this article, we will talk about the Qassem Soleimani to whom the US killed, steps were taken by Iran after this attack, etc. We will also talk about the Consequences of the US Iran conflict on Hormuz strait as the world’s eyes are on this strait because it is the most prominent petroleum sea trade route and it borders with Iran.

Qassem Soleimani

He was the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation.

Iran has two armies, navies and air forces. One, to protect the country. The other, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Force (IRGC), a foreign wing of the Iran military force to protect the country’s religious revolution. Among the IRGC the Quds are the elite of the elite. Its members speak multiple languages. They are spies, soldiers and technical experts and Soleimani was their commander for more than 20 years rose up to the rank of General.

Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands. He was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.

The US drone strike comes days after Trump threatened Tehran after Iraqi supporters of pro-Iranian regime factions laid siege to the US embassy in Baghdad. Soleimani approved the attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad.

Steps were taken by Iraq after this attack

Iraq’s parliament passed on Sunday a resolution calling on the government to end all foreign troop presence in Iraq, as the backlash grew after the killing of a top Iranian military commander and an Iraqi militia leader in a US strike in Baghdad.

The resolution’s main aim is to get the United States to withdraw some its approximately 5500 troops present in different parts of Iraq. It reflects the concern of many in Iraq that the US strike killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis could engulf them in a major war between two bigger powers.

But this resolution is nonbinding on Iraq’s govt.

Steps were taken by Iran after Us killed Soleimani

Thousands of people of Iran took to the streets of Tehran to protest against American “crimes“. Chanting “Death to America” and holding up posters of the slain commander, Qasem Soleimani.

Irans’ Parliament passed a bill which Designated :

  1. all US forces and
  2. employees of the Pentagon and affiliated organisations, agents and commanders and
  3. employees of the Pentagon and affiliated organisations, agents and commanders and

Any aid to these forces, including military, intelligence, financial, technical, service or logistical, will be considered as cooperation in a terrorist act,“

Lawmakers also voted for 200 million euros ($224m) to be allocated to the Quds Force “to boost their defensive power”.

Iran also launched 22 ballistic missiles at two military bases used by U.S. forces in Iraq but no causalities found.

World’s Eyes on Hormuz strait due to Us Iran conflict

Iran is widely expected to retaliate, and analysts see the potential for renewed attacks on the waterway of the country’s southern coast. Attacks on 6 oil tanker ships and a U.S. drone around the strait last year caused temporary jumps in crude oil prices.

The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway that links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

Why is it important?

Oil tankers carrying crude from ports on the Persian Gulf must pass through the strait. Around 21 million barrels of oil a day flowed through it in 2018, equivalent to roughly a third of global seaborne oil trade and about 21% of global petroleum liquids consumption, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in June 2019.[UPSC current affairs]

Can the strait be bypassed?

Not easily.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates operate the only pipelines capable of shipping crude outside the Persian Gulf and the additional pipeline capacity to circumvent the strait.

Could Iran close the strait?

Shutting off the Strait ‘of no interest to anyone’.

The EIA estimated that 76% of the crude oil and condensate that moved through the Hormuz chokepoint went to Asian markets in 2018.

China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore were thought to be the largest destinations for crude oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz to Asia over the same time period, accounting for 65% of all Hormuz crude oil and condensate flows.

China – As China was the biggest importer of Crude oil and condensate out of the Persian Gulf region. And, “as a result of that, the relationship between Iran and China needs to be maintained.” because, in spite of sanction by the USA , China is investing a lot in Iran and also supporting it.

India – India has also good diplomatic relation with Iran and India is developing Chabahar port in Iran. Also when sanction was not imposed on Iran by US, India was importing petroleum from Iran. So, in future if sanctions will be relaxed by US; India will surely import petroleum from Tehran again. That is why Iran’s relation with India also needs to be maintained.

Also, The presence of the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet has long cast doubt on Iran’s ability to close the waterway. Apart from this Us troops are present in large numbers in Middle east reason.[current affairs analysis for upsc]

Expert says: “there may be skirmishes” in the Strait over the coming weeks, it would be “of no interest to anyone” to completely cut off the channel.

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