Franz Ferdinand Are Trending After U.S. Kills Top Iranian Commander - Rolling Stone
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Franz Ferdinand Are Trending After Suleimani Assassination

Frontman Alex Kapranos responds to comparisons between death of top Iranian military commander, Austrian Archduke whose killing sparked World War I

Alex Kaprano,s of Franz Ferdinand, performs during the Corona Capital music festival in Mexico CityCorona Capital, Mexico City, Mexico - 16 Nov 2019

Franz Ferdinand, the band, have responded after their name started trending following the assassination of Iran's Qassim Suleimani.

Eduardo Verdugo/AP/Shutterstock

Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos responded with some dismay to the fact that his band had inadvertently started trending as people drew comparisons between the assassination of the group’s namesake, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and the United States’ assassination of Iran’s top military commander, Qassim Suleimani.

Suleimani was killed in a drone strike, which President Donald Trump authorized, at Baghdad International Airport Friday morning, as The New York Times reports. The move came after months of mounting tensions between the United States and Iran, and the assassination of Suleimani has sparked fears that tensions will continue to escalate, if not prompt an actual war. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has already promised retaliation after a period of mourning.

As such, people on social media began comparing the assassination of Suleimani to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose 1914 death is widely cited as the catalyst for what would eventually become World War I.

On Twitter, Kaparos responded to this surreal mix of events, saying, “This is not how I wanted to see the name of my band trending on Twitter #FranzFerdinand.” When a user suggested they maybe should’ve seen it coming when they chose such a name, Kaparos replied, “I naively presumed that history was something best learned from rather than repeated.”

Meanwhile, the band’s main account added, “For the record, we think #WWIII is a bad idea.”

Franz Ferdinand released their most recent album, Always Ascending, in 2018.

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