On Jan. 2, 2020, Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was killed by a United States drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq. Iran has vowed revenge, and now both sides wait to see what will happen next.    

Michael Wallace, professor and program director for emergency and security studies in Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement, is a retired Navy intelligence officer and former senior intelligence analyst who worked on the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate from 2013-2015. Wallace is available to speak about the escalating situation in Iran and what the next steps might be if Iran retaliates. For interviews, contact pr@tulane.edu or Roger Dunaway at 504-452-2906. 

“The assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani is a surprising and unexpected escalation of the ‘cold’ war that has been happening between Iran and the United States since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. For many years, Soleimani traveled around the Middle East openly, daring both the U.S. and Israel to strike him. By a United Nations resolution in 2015, he was not allowed to travel to Iraq. President Donald Trump showed tremendous restraint against Iran for a wide variety of attacks last year, including the Saudi Arabia oil attack, tanker attacks, drone shot down and cyber-attacks, but the attack on the U.S. embassy attack in Baghdad was a ‘bridge too far’ for the U.S. president.”

The ball is now in Iran’s court regarding a response. Iran will have to respond to maintain credibility in the Shia and Muslim world. The question is where, how and the severity of an attack. I would expect multiple attacks against primarily U.S. military/diplomatic/businesses and Israeli targets in the Middle East and Europe as Iran has terror networks already installed in those areas.

https://news.tulane.edu/expert-files-spotlight/7009