Qassem Soleimani was killed by US drones in Iraq on January 3, 2020! It was a mayhem after his death, as Islamic Republic was taken off guard and had no plan on how to respond. President Trump had drawn a very clear line in the sand, “any American life lost, Iran will be held accountable!” However, as always, the propaganda machine of the regime was ready to cover up the shortcomings. Inside Iran and abroad, the theocratic regime’s mouthpieces began to portray Soleimani as a hero and beloved by all Iranians and people of the region! In this article, we take a look at why that narrative was a lie and he’s despised by the majority of Iranians and people in the Middle East.
Qassem Soleimani was a high ranking IRGC commander when he signed a threatening letter to Khatami in July 1999. When Tehran University students were protesting against the suffocation of press, 24 IRGC commanders threaten Khatami saying, “If you can’t control them, we will do it for you.” Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, current Speaker of the Parliament and former IRGC commander, confirmed that letter was authored by him and Soleimani, together.
“Mr. President, if you do not make a revolutionary decision today and do not fulfill your Islamic and national duty, tomorrow would be too late and irreparable. In the end, with all due respect, our patience is wearing thin and if this is not taken care of, we can’t tolerate it anymore.”
There’s no clear information as how many were killed in those 7 days across the country, but at least 7 are confirmed and a few, such as Saeed Zeinali, are still missing.
Ten years later, after questionable “presidential elections” a wave of protests began in Tehran and other big cities. According to official counts, at least 72 people were killed during the peaceful protests. Again, Ghalibaf admits, “Perhaps the biggest move to prevent any big event, was done by me and “Sardar Soleimani” between Saturday and Thursday.” Kerman Friday Prayers Sermon revealed Soleimani voted for Ghalibaf in 2013 “presidential elections!”
In the nationwide 2017-2018 protests which started in Mashhad focused mostly on economic issues and poverty in Iran. They then expanded to other cities and chants started to target the regime and its officials. The ever-oppressive IRGC and Basiji forces killed at least 50 peaceful protesters.
Soleimani’s role in 1999 and 2009 killings have also been confirmed by Mohammad Ali Jafari, former IRGC Commander-in-Chief.In a praising tweet to “Haj Qassem”, Jafari wrote: “In the 1999 and 2009 sedition, Haj Qassem was in the scene of fighting the anti-revolutionaries and did an effective job in controlling the riots! We saw him in Sarallah base several times.”
In February 2018, the “General of Hearts” as state-media call him, called protesters “thugs” and “anti-revolutionaries” who wanted to “take advantage of the situation and overthrow the Islamic Republic. But we defeated the enemy!” He called the actions of protesters in nationwide uprising as “idiotic.” He played a significant role in killing at least 1500 unarmed people in 3 days in November 2019 uprising. His forces in Syria who are called “Shrine Defenders” admitted that “irresponsibility of the government made us enter the November 2019 protests scene and face our compatriots.”
A day after he was killed, Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, in an interview with IranInternational said Soleimai was behind suppression of Iranian protesters. He said, “We hear the voice of the Iranian people and we support them. I know that the protests in response to Soleimani’s death are not people’s belief. I know that in the end, most Iranians are happy; They’re glad that this terrorist is gone.” After mentioning his roles in suppressing peaceful protesters, Pompeo said, “He was the commander of Basijis and led them. Soleimani knew if people’s voice was heard, his existence will be in danger.”
Qassem Soleimani’s role in killing citizen protesters doesn’t end in Iran. He took his Quds Forces to Syria in 2011 to suppress Bashar al-Assad opposition! While Islamic Republic propaganda machine focuses on Soleimani’s role in fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Soleimani’s Quds went to Syria before ISIS to support Assad! According to international bodies, as of January 2020, more than 380,000 Syrians were killed, 35,000 of whom were women and children, giving Soleimani the nickname, “Child Killer.” During the civil war, he expanded his forces by bringing fighters from Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon under different pretenses and created the “Shrine Defenders.”
He was the main person supplying Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist groups with money and weapons, helping in their terrorist activities across the region. In one example, recently, Al-Zahar, co-founder of Hamas, admitted Soleimani paid them $22million in 9 suitcases, each weighing 40kg. He was supposed to pay them more, but they couldn’t have carried more!
He shaped Kataeb Hezbollah in Iraq and other militia groups. In October 2019, one day after Iraqi protests began, he traveled to Iraq unexpectedly. According to Associated Press, the “Velayat Soldier” had taught Iraqi officials how to deal with protests and told them, “In Iran, we know how to deal with protesters. Something like this happened and we managed it.” In 2019 protests in Iraq, at least 319 were killed and more than 15,000 injured!
Soleimani was no “hero”, Qassem Soleimani displaced and killed thousands of women, children and protesters in Iran and the Middle East! People across the region celebrated his death, and even on his anniversary, they can’t hide their joy!