The Debate

Under pressure: How far will Tehran and Washington go?

By: François PICARD Follow | Juliette LAURAIN
45 min

How quickly the mood can shift in Tehran. This Monday saw a third day of protests over last week's accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner hours after the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles on coalition bases in Iraq in retaliation for the US killing of Qassem Soleimani. A week ago, we were wondering if Donald Trump had just handed his adversaries a free pass by getting a nation torn apart by the recent deadly crackdown on fuel hike protests to rally around the flag. Now, the gripes of ordinary Iranians over mismanagement and lack of accountability are back with a vengeance.


We ask our panel what prompted authorities to first deny then admit to the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. What will be the fallout?

The Iranians are not the only ones told to get their stories straight. Donald Trump's defence secretary has rolled back an earlier admission that there was no hard evidence that Qassem Suleimani was about to target the US embassy in Baghdad when the Quds force commander was killed. What to expect next from the administration's maximum pressure policy? And what to make of mediation efforts to ward off a repeat of last week's escalation that had the whole world on edge?

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Jimena Morales-Velasco.

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