After Donald Trump ordered air strikes on Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian government condemned the act, hoisted the red flag and strongly warned the US that his death will be avenged.
Whether these are empty threats or the government will retaliate as stated is surely a matter of time as we watch everything play out. Although there are reports that they did carry out a harmless missile attack on a US base in Iraq.
This action though provoking a reaction from the White House, the attack seems light weight and nothing out of their usual strikes.
In all of this, here are 5 reasons why Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader of Iran should not consider striking back hard.
1. Vengeance could lead to a full blown war
First and foremost, the question that begs to be answered is how will they strike back in a manner that restores the country’s fallen pride?.
Targeting US facilities and citizens may not seem to be enough. At the same time, declaring full war on the US is akin to digging its own grave.
The Iranian government may also decide to rather hit US allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia as the have done in time past, whom they believe acted in connivance with the US.
If the government chooses to go the route of a war-like attack, that will spell doom for the country because there will be high casualties, more from their end.
2. Worsened economic crisis
Despite being an oil-producing state with the 4th highest reserve of crude oil, the country has being experiencing economic crisis since 2018 when Trump cut off the country’s ability to sell crude oil in the global market and threatened to sanction any nation that does business with them.
If this threat is made real, the few countries like China, Turkey, Syria and India who still buy from them may have to withdraw.
This clearly spells disaster. Already, the country has an inflation rate of 37% and unemployment currently stands at 12%. With the US stating that more sanctions will be imposed on Iran, a revenge may just hasten stricter sanctions.
3. No hopes for a nuclear deal
Iran had always wanted a nuclear weapon which before now, met stiff resistance from world powers.
However, in 2016, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), stalling their nuclear program in return for lifting international sanctions placed against them.
According to the agreement, Iran would redesign and reduce its nuclear facilities in order to lift all nuclear related economic sanctions on them.
In May 2018, Trump’s administration withdrew from the deal, saying it was one-sided, leaving China, Germany, Russia France and others. Iran’s chances of nuclear weapon will be greatly reduced if they strike and other world powers also back out from the deal.
However, this will not stop them from going back on building it’s own nuclear weapon independently.
4. An invasion could occur and the supreme leader overthrown
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei doesn’t seem to be one who wishes to relinquish the stool of power very soon. Any aggressive attack on US means there is a possibility that he will be removed with US invading Iran just like they invaded Iraq.
5. They could become vulnerable to neighbouring enemy states
Iran is surrounded by some countries who don’t particularly like them. One of such is Israel, another, Saudi Arabia. These are closer territories to them.
Any aggressive strike by Iran on US or any of the above nations exposes them if there is a war.
Iran’s ambition to expand in the Middle East means they have to build strong ties with Israel’s enemies. One of which is Palestine whom the Iranian government has been supporting by funding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militant group fighting Israel over Gaza.
Saudi Arabia on the other hand too will no doubt impress its Sunni ideology and try to suppress Shiites if America goes to war with them.
In a nutshell, vengeance could mean losing on both ends.