176 souls have gone due to what Iranian authorities eventually described as unintentional action in the wake of its attack on US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for US killing of Qassem Soleimani, Quds Force Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on January 3rd, 2020. In obvious anticipation of military response for hitting the US bases, Iran could not ascertain and distinguish a civilian from a military attack aircraft, thereby bringing down the Ukrainian International flight taking off from Tehran. That raises two issues for quick attention.
The first is how the normative points in Iran’s favour in its fist cuff with the US now risks being wiped away by this blunder. Depending on how the propaganda game goes, Iran could be on the defensive for a long time, with the blunder replacing the substantive issues in the conflict with the US. It is probably difficult to estimate how great the tension Iran must have been under that its defense practitioners could not wait to properly identify an attack aircraft from a civilian plane at that moment. Well, it takes courage to even aim at a US military base, much less hit it. If you do, you must then be prepared for the best and worst case scenarios. The only question is whether that tension alone explains this error and not another kind of politics.
The second point is how a war situation creates its collateral victims. The 176 souls on the Ukrainian flight have no voice or hands in the latest phase of US-Iran face off but they are the first casualties even when the war has not started. Chances are that many of them may even have a history of anti-war activism.
The big lesson is how we must all be campaigners against war because, under war situations, absolutely no one is safe. Those jumping up and down celebrating how the US has taught Iran a lesson or how deadly Iran can be must, therefore, check themselves. They can be, unconsciously, contributing to creating a situation which can consume them in the most unexpected manner. This applies most to countries such as Nigeria where the citizenry tend to reduce complex global issues to own local checkmating politics between Christians and Muslim, with both ending up clapping for their own humiliation in the grand scale of things in human history.
Iran and US have had a very complicated relationship and what is happening is not explainable in simplistic, right or wrong kind of reasoning promoted by some people.