The 21st Show

Iranian-Illinoisans React To The Death of Qassem Soleimani


Erfan Kouchari/ Tasnim News Agency/ Associated Press

A U.S. drone strike killed a top-ranking Iranian military commander in Iraq last week. General Qassem Suleimani was a divisive figure in Iran. Many say he was the second-most powerful man in Iran, only after the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and possibly even ahead of President Rouhani.

The U.S. says he was responsible for coordinating with Iranian proxies in the Middle East, including in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq where they’ve killed U.S. troops. One U.S. contractor was killed by an Iran-backed Anti-ISIS group shortly before New Year’s. The U.S. struck back, killing 25, which was met with violent protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Illinois has the biggest Iranian-American community in the Midwest. We’re going to talk about U.S.-Iran hostilities with two Illinoisans who know the issue personally.

Shermin Kruse is an author, attorney, and serves on the board of the ACLU of Illinois. She was born in Iran, but fled to the West as a child during the Iran-Iraq War and Mateo Farzaneh an Iran Native who is now a history professor at Northeastern Illinois University joined us.

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