Struan Stevenson, former president of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, in an article on UPI, explained why the elimination of the Iranian regime’s notorious General Qassem Soleimani is important for the peace and security in the world and particularly in the Middle East.
“The elimination in Baghdad by the Americans of senior Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and his ally the Iraqi Chief of Staff of Operations Abu Mahdi Muhandis, has dealt a fatal blow to the Iranian regime,” Mr. Stevenson said.
The elimination in Baghdad by D Americans of senior #IranianGeneral Qassem #Soleimani dealt a fatal blow to #Iranian regime#FreeIran2020 #MEK #IranMassacre #IranProtests #IRGC #IraniansWantRegimeChange @SecPompeo @realDonaldTrump
— STRUAN (@STRUANSTEVENSON) January 5, 2020
While referring to Soleimani’s background and his leading role in the export of terrorism abroad Mr. Stevenson wrote, “He controlled the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, its vicious unit responsible for extraterritorial operations. Soleimani was answerable only to Khamenei and as such was described by many as the second most powerful person in the Islamic Republic,” he continued, “As Quds Force commander, he oversaw the theocratic regime’s proxy wars in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq, where he commanded all the Iraqi militias. His death will have come as an irreparable blow to the clerical regime.”
“The secret massacre of over 30,000 supporters of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran/Mojahedin e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK) in the latter half of 1988, stands out as one of the worst crimes against humanity of the late 20th century. Startling as these figures are, they are only a fraction of the estimated 120,000 political prisoners executed so far during the clerical dictatorship in Iran, often with the direct involvement of Soleimani,” wrote Mr. Stevenson while referring to Soleimani’s role in oppressing the MEK members and supporters.
Comparing the IRGC with Adolf Hitler’s Gestapo Mr. Stevenson wrote, “Khomeini created the IRGC as his own version of the Gestapo, to spread their revolutionary policy of violence and terror beyond Iran’s borders. The IRGC and its Quds Force offshoot not only brutally enforce the clerical regime’s oppressive domination of Iran’s population, but it also controls most of the Iranian economy, paying no taxes and funneling resources into the pockets of the ruling elite, while sponsoring terrorism and aggressive military expansionism abroad,”
“Soleimani played a pivotal role in this process. His poster still features on walls and hoardings across the Middle East. Following the siege on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on New Year’s Eve, graffiti sprayed onto the embassy walls in Farsi, rather than Arabic, stated “Qassem Soleimani is our leader,” giving the lie to Iran’s insistence that this was purely an Iraqi protest. Indeed, the Americans claim that Soleimani was actively plotting an attack on U.S. military personnel in Iraq when they targeted him for a drone strike at Baghdad Airport,” he added.
Referring to Soleimani’s direct role in suppressing the nationwide Iran protests in November, Mr. Stevenson Wrote, “In a blind panic, Khamenei instructed Soleimani to mobilize his IRGC thugs to launch a murderous crackdown on the peaceful protesters, during which an estimated 1,500 were murdered, more than 4,000 were wounded and over 12,000 were arrested,” he continued, “Soleimani ordered a systematic shoot-to-kill policy that has seen masked snipers on the roofs of government buildings, indiscriminately shooting unarmed, young protesters in the head and chest. IRGC goons and security agents then scoured the country’s hospitals, dragging the wounded from their beds.”
Referring to Soleimani’s role in oppressing the Iraqi people’s protests, Mr. Stevenson wrote that Soleimani, “Deployed masked gunmen to murder hundreds of peaceful Iraqi demonstrators. It is no surprise that tens of thousands of young Iraqis took to the streets to celebrate Soleimani’s and Muhandis’ assassination.”
Referring to the importance of Soleimani’s elimination, Stevenson wrote, “With his elimination, the process of overthrowing the mullahs and restoring peace, justice, and democracy in Iran will be greatly expedited. The international community cannot continue to treat the theocratic regime in Iran as a normal nation-state. The belligerent, repressive and vicious behavior of the regime proves that attempts at negotiation or appeasement are pointless,”
“The ayatollahs, with the direct involvement of their most powerful general, Soleimani, have committed appalling crimes against humanity that require an immediate response from the international community, involving, at the very least, a U.N. fact-finding mission to establish the truth about the numbers killed and injured in the recent nationwide uprising and to ascertain the treatment of those imprisoned,” he added.
“The U.N. must hold those responsible for these crimes accountable in the international courts of justice. As Soleimani and Muhandis discovered to their ultimate cost, there can be no impunity for those guilty of such chilling atrocities,” Mr. Stevenson concluded.
Struan Stevenson is the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change. He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association.