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Articles on Iran

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Coffins of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and others are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners. Majid Saeedi via Getty Images

Large turnouts for Soleimani’s funeral in Iran carry powerful collective emotions – just as Americans saw during the colonial era

Iranian leaders seem eager to use the powerful emotions surrounding his death to coalesce power around the regime. History shows that mass mourning is a powerful way to bring people together.
‘I want to produce such an impression of utter weariness and ennui that my readers will imagine the book could only have been written by a cretin,’ Flaubert wrote. Photo by Nadar / ullstein bild via Getty Images

We’re living in the bizarre world that Flaubert envisioned

Is a 19th-century French author’s cosmic joke turning into a real-life global nightmare?
The Ukrainian airliner went down shortly after take-off from Tehran’s airport. Western intelligence has indicated an Iranian missile might have been responsible. ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH/EPA

What investigators should be looking for in the Iran plane crash: an expert explains

Key evidence from the wreckage can show if the plane experienced engine trouble or was hit by a missile. But first, Iran must decide how much outside help it will accept in an investigation.
In an official White House photo, President Donald Trump stands alone. Shealah Craighead/White House

Trump, like Obama, tests the limits of presidential war powers

Both President Trump and President Obama used military force without informing Congress, or getting its approval. But the differences reveal more than the similarities.
Mourners carry the coffins of slain Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and eight others during a funeral procession in Karbala, Iraq on Jan. 4, 2020. MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP via Getty Images

The US-Iran conflict and the consequences of international law-breaking

The US and other countries set up the modern system of international law after World War II. Does the US killing of an Iranian general violate those laws? What about Iran’s attack on US bases in Iraq?
Donald Trump announced new sanctions against Iran in his address, but said the US would not escalate its military response. Michael Reynolds/EPA

Iran and US step back from all-out war, giving Trump a win (for now)

Although neither side apparently wants conflict, tensions remain over the presence of US troops in Iraq and Iran’s decision to walk away from part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
U.S. President Donald Trump was flanked by military officers as he responded to the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Why the U.S. is unlikely to go to war with Iran

Iran’s missile strikes on Iraqi bases in response to the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani have raised tensions between the U.S. and Iran. But war seems unlikely at this point.

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