17 Feb 2020

Soleimani’s assassination and the shifting US deterrence strategy on Iran

Dr. Ashraf Al Eisawy

On 3rd January 2020, an American drone killed Qassem Soleimani, the Major General of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Commander of the Quds Force. The UAV airstrike near Baghdad airport marked a new shift in Washington’s strategy toward Iran and its proxies in the region.

This new strategy appears to be aimed at restoring the credibility of the US deterrence on Iran. This comes in the wake of Iran and its militias’ hostile behavior in the Middle East over a year since the US withdrew from the nuclear agreement in May 2018 without coming up with an appropriate response to Tehran’s destabilizing moves.

This gave Iran the impression that it is in a position to carry on with its political agenda and its subversive activities in the region without inviting any action. But what are the dimensions of this new American strategy of deterrence? What are its main tools? and what are Iran’s options in dealing with it?

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