(Jan 9): US President Donald Trump’s order to assassinate Iran’s General Qassem Suleimani while on an official mission to Iraq was widely hailed in Trump’s jingoistic Republican Party. Government-sanctioned murders of foreign officials, clerics, and journalists are commonplace nowadays. Yet there is something special about America’s bloodlust against Iran. It is a 40-year-old obsession that has now brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war.

The US fixation on Iran dates back to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, when Iranian students took over the US embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year. That traumatic experience has made it psychologically impossible for American politicians to calibrate US policies. It is the reason, for example, that Trump has now threatened the war crime of destroying 52 targets in Iran, including cultural sites, one for each of the 1979 hostages, if Iran retaliates for Suleimani’s murder.

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