United States diplomatic relations with the Middle East are being re-examined following the U.S airstrike on an Iranian backed militia. After the airstrike, the U.S admitted to killing an important Iranian military general, Qasem Soleimani, which sparked outrage in the Middle East.
Diplomatically, Iran and Iraq have grown to be allies while the United states have current diplomatic relations with Iraq and no existing diplomatic relations with Iran. Thousands of military troops were deployed in Iraq as a means to aid Iraqi forces in the midst of a war. However, following the airstrike led to the Iraqi parliament voted to remove U.S troops from Iraq.
On Jan. 6, crowds flooded the streets in Tehran to mourn the death of one of their lead military commanders. The Iraqi government vowed retaliation against American soil. Events following the series of attacks on Iranian soil include the Iranian government deciding to withdraw from the International Nuclear Deal, causing concern over to what extent Iran will develop nuclear weapons and how they will use them.
On Jan. 5, President Trump tweeted, “These media posts will serve as notification to the United States that should Iran strike any U.S person or target, the United States will quickly and fully strike back, and perhaps in a disproportionate manner.”
Trump’s tweet establishes the U.S’s intention to retaliate against any potential Iranian led attacks. Concerns over how severe the retaliation taken by the Iranian government to revenge the death of Soleiman are spreading through the U.S Government, worsening the tensions with the Middle East.
Iran deemed that they do not want to inflict war, but seek to retaliate by a measure proportionate to the American attack. On Jan. 8, Iran fired missiles into Iraq where U.S. troops are deployed.
As the relationship between America and Iran remains unstable, a Mt. Hebron student who was born and raised in Iran before moving to the states gave her take on the U.S-Middle East Crisis. In response to the current media coverage of Iran, the student recounted things they value about Iranian culture.
“Iranians, the people, the nation, we are just so united and just close. If someone is going through something hard, everyone, even strangers on the road will help them.”
By witnessing the news, this student does not believe that the portrayal of the Iranian culture is indicative of the true culture.
“Iran is so alive and they don’t show that on the television.”
The student believes that the current news depicts Iran in a way that is disdainful. They reflected on their culture and how, while military tensions are high, they remain proud of their Iranian heritage.
“It honestly just hurts me to see the news and see how people think of the country because the news is pretty biased. The media can show you whatever it wants you to know and I feel like all the tensions between the countries,” she said. “They just want you to hate the country without even knowing about it.”
Current media coverage highlights the fluctuating relation with the Middle East. However, the student believes that political agendas do not portray the Iran that Americans see on the news.
While perceptions of media accuracy differ, uncertainty remains over how relations with the Middle East will be resolved and how long the military crisis will extend onwards for. The United States government is attempting different tactics in order to ensure the safety and security of the nation.