by Sebastian Squire
Tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran have ratcheted up in recent weeks, marking an uptick in a saga of threats and violent acts leading back many decades. In recent years, an uptick in tensions sides, which a controversial Trump administration decision to leave the Obama-era Iranian Nuclear Deal spurred, resulted in a US led airstrike and retributionary Iranian missiles being fired on a US led Iraqi air base.
On January 2, 2020, US drones targeted a motorcade carrying Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qasem Soleimani. The day after Soleimani’s death, President Trump championed the attack saying, “Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed […] Qasem Soleimani,” from his Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach Florida. After a funeral march and numerous parades, Iranians returned Soleimani to his hometown for burial.
In a retaliatory attack on US and NATO forces, Iran launched an undisclosed number of missiles on January 7th. Fortunately, no American or coalition troops were killed in the attacks. While preliminary reports spoke of intentional misguided of missiles, US military officials have since disputed this.
Both the world and our community acutely felt these effects. A Las Lomas student with family in Iran, who wished to remain anonymous, said “as of now, I am fearful that if tensions rise there might be conflict, which would put [my family] in danger”. When asked about the effects on their own life the student responded, “As of now, I don’t fear for my safety. However, I would definitely worry if a war started.” Regarding the possibility of a war, the student said, “I really hope that both governments calm down and think about the damage of everything at stake,” noting that if a war were to start, “millions would be in danger, and I doubt I would be able to travel and see my family.”
The possible confrontation led to increased fear of a possible draft, particularly among adolescents. However, at Las Lomas, students downplayed the possibility of a draft. When asked about if he was fearful of a possible draft, Sophomore Nico Wells replied, “The chances of a draft happening are slim, and drafting would likely be over by the time I am 18.” Sophomore Andrew Martinez Cabrera echoed his views: “I, for one, am not scared of the draft, just because the last time we used the draft was in Vietnam”.