Soleimani's killing will unleash chaos

Few tears will be shed in many parts of the world for Major-General Qassem Soleimani, whose Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps ruthlessly spread Iranian influence and contributed to the deaths of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis and Iranians, as well as hundreds of American servicemen in Iraq, over the past decade and a half.

But revenge is not a strategy, and the killing of Maj-Gen Soleimani is a major - and incredibly risky - escalation with Iran, a pivotal country of some 80 million people that has been largely estranged from the United States for 40 years. It will cause more instability and the loss of more innocent lives. Any chances for American diplomacy with Iran are dead for the duration of the Trump presidency - if not longer.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2020, with the headline 'Soleimani's killing will unleash chaos'. Print Edition | Subscribe