Babak stays up late, so he saw the news in real time, in the early Friday morning hours in Iran. The Americans had killed Qassem Soleimani, one of the country’s most celebrated military figures, in a targeted strike.
“I didn’t know how to feel,” Babak, a 25-year-old software engineer from Bandar Abbas, a city in southern Iran, told me. “I couldn’t say I’m glad that he died, and I couldn’t say I was happy.”
Babak was shocked that the Trump administration had taken out Soleimani. But he also saw the senior military commander as an extension of the Iranian regime — a man who served the government, and not necessarily the people of Iran.
Most of all, Babak was nervous. So, too, were other Iranians Vox spoke to in the aftermath of Soleimani’s death. Nervous about what would happen next. Because Tehran would retaliate, it had no choice. And that could provoke the United States, again.
Which meant things could only get worse for Iran.
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