It has been a long year since President Trump rang in 2020 by ordering the killing of one of Iran’s top military leaders. The assassination of Qassem Soleimani shocked most of the world and brought the Middle East to the brink of another major catastrophic war.
In the tense days that followed, cooler heads would prevail, but not before Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accidentally shot down a Ukraine Airlines plane shortly after take-off. The plane, carrying mostly Canadian-Iranian civilians had apparently been mistaken for a hostile missile just hours after an Iranian missile attack on an American military base in Iraq.
In Canada, the Persian Community was heartbroken. Not just the people who were directly affected by the loss of family members and friends, but the community as a whole. Blame was placed at the feet of Trump for needlessly escalating tensions, it was placed on the Iranian Government, and some even insisted the plane was downed on purpose.
A global pandemic and an American General Election later, tensions are once again on the rise as the anniversary of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani is marked, a president with nothing to lose is on the way out and a supposedly friendlier face is about to take his place.
With close to seventy years of American interference in Iranian affairs, most Persians in Iran and abroad are weary of any kind of American intervention. Those opposed to the Islamic Regime have no love for the Ayatollahs, but they have also witnessed what happens to countries when Democracy is forced upon them.
You would imagine that with Trump pulling the United States out of the landmark nuclear deal, re-imposing devastating sanctions, and assassinating Soleimani, most Iranians would be in support of a Biden presidency. While that is true to a certain degree in the thriving Persian Community in progressive Los Angeles, elsewhere opinions are reserved, especially in Iran itself.
I’m no admirer of Barack Obama other than his ability to articulately speak the English language and not be as awful as the Presidents who both preceded and proceeded him. That being said, his most shining accomplishment in my eyes was getting Iran to sign on to his Nuclear Deal. At the time, it was a win-win for both countries and kept Iran from joining the nuke club.
Joe Biden, being the Vice President at the time of the deal, however, didn’t have much of an impact on the psyches of Iranians. The fact is, nearly half of Iranian citizens living in Iran saw no difference between the Orange Menace and the Sleepy One in the run up to the election. You could chalk it up to Iranian propaganda perhaps or past American interference in Iranian affairs, but I would bet the actual explanation involves more recent history.
Biden, under Obama, had a hand in the War on Terror get expanded from two countries to seven. Libya was bombed into a devastatingly long civil war. American logistics support for the Saudi offensive in Yemen has resulted in countless killed and millions starving. And of course, Biden infamously supported the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The list could go on.
Biden’s foreign policy is so stained in blood that there are those, despite all that Trump has done in the last four years to Iran, that believe Trump is the safer bet. In his defense, Trump has tried multiple times to finally bring troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, only the military industrial complex got in his way.
With Biden coming into office and the pro-war foreign policy wing of his cabinet taking shape, it’s a sure bet that those troops aren’t going anywhere. It’s also safe to say that the United States will venture into another foreign entanglement someplace in the third world, the question is where?
The Biden Administration and Democrats in general aren’t dumb enough to invade entire countries anymore. They do their damage from 30,000 feet on regimes that can’t retaliate. The Biden Presidency will not bring peace, but it will bring back some semblance of stability. No high-level assassinations like Soleimani for instance.
Iran is probably safe as long as the U.S. keeps Israel on a tight leash, which remains to be seen. They have a habit of assassinating Iranian Scientists with impunity. Either way, Biden will get involved somewhere in the world. You don’t spend ¾ of a trillion dollars on the military every year just to sit on it.