The day after war begins in Iran

Outpouring of grief for Qassem Soleimani is the country's first act of retaliation

A candlelight vigil to mourn Major-General Qassem Soleimani in Teheran on Tuesday. Iranians have turned out to mourn him on an extraordinary scale, in scenes unmatched since the funeral of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, says the writer. PHOTO:
A candlelight vigil to mourn Major-General Qassem Soleimani in Teheran on Tuesday. Iranians have turned out to mourn him on an extraordinary scale, in scenes unmatched since the funeral of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, says the writer. PHOTO: NYTIMES

The last time I wrote seriously about a war with Iran was in 2012.

It had been an especially fraught year, with Iran's Revolutionary Guards running naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, Israel and the United States conducting joint drills, and the safety of oil shipping lanes looking entirely unassured. Oil prices rattled skittishly, everyone suddenly monitored ships, and headlines speculated that Israel might attack Iran's nuclear sites.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'The day after war begins in Iran'. Subscribe