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Assassination of Major General Qassim Soleimani: Research & Curiosity

Did they get it right?

Dipping into the Well of Curiosity

The headlines above are taken from the January 6th, 2020 edition of the Globe and Mail (top), Toronto Star (left) and the Philadelphia Inquirer (right). The use of the words "ends", "collapse" and "abandoning" suggests that Iran has left the 2015 nuclear agreement, sealed by President Obama's administration.

In the course of any research project students are fortunate to draw upon the voices of human experts covering all branches of knowledge.  In the case of breaking stories, experts are often called upon to add to the richness of the plot by drawing on their own knowledge, carved from years of focused curiosity.

In the initial phases of gather information, enriching our understanding of the meaning of Soleimani's assassination, I do not recommend listening to audio sources or watching visual sources of information.  Audio and visual information contain a wealth of experience and information, bundled tightly, tantalizing our senses to reach over and above our intellect.  Reading is our best defense against sensory deception, at least initially, while we are gathering in the bigger picture.

However, in a developing narrative, these audio and visual experiences are almost unavoidable.  Listening to the voices of human experts can also add knowledge, where other news writing may not have probed as deeply.

Shortly after the news headlined Iran's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, I came within earshot of a radio program interviewing a panel of experts, including the voice of Stephanie Carvin.  On the subject of the Iran nuclear agreement, she said, "...but I think it's also been somewhat exaggerated in the media... They [Iran] know that by sticking with the Iran nuclear deal that they, you know, are able at least to kind of keep a little bit of that moral angle that the United States does seem to be throwing away, particularly with Donald Trump's more extreme rhetoric that we saw on Twitter over the last 24 hours. So they have not actually said they're leaving the Iran nuclear deal, they are saying they are going to diminish, I think, their cooperation with it." (my emphasis) (Galloway, 2020, para. 11)

Stephanie Carvin is an assistant professor of international relations at Carleton University.



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