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Millennium Post

Brewing tension

Twitter yesterday erupted to rather obnoxious display of humour when "World War III" was trending in the aftermath of US air raid near the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq which killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC's) Quds Force and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Soleimani's death, and especially at the hands of US, is definitely a high-level escalation on the international front given the Iran-US tensions that grew over to the new year. With Pentagon affirming the news in a formal statement, twitter exploded with tweets terming the escalation as serious enough to lead to another world war. In the heat of things, China called out for restraint on the US's part while Russia termed the event as a "reckless step". By no sheer of imagination would Iran have anticipated such US audacity. A statement from the Pentagon — the headquarters of the US Department of Defense — said Soleimani had been "developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region". In fact, his machinations were on when the US bombarded the show, many would even say. However, the development will certainly not sit well with Iran. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed "severe revenge" against the US for its activities and it seems Soleimani's murder has only strengthened their resolve. While international order will have to step up in order to bring the two confronting parties to calm, the attack will definitely have a bearing in the global oil market. Oil prices already rose by 4 per cent in the wake of the attack and concerns hover over possible escalation that could throw the price regime of oil in the Middle East in a jeopardy. The attack on Saudi Aramco, which the US alleged was pioneered by Iran, had ramifications on the oil price. The motivation behind US's assault on Soleimani was retaliation over the infiltration of US embassy in Baghdad on New Year's Eve by Iran-backed militia and other protesters.

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