January 3 marks the second anniversary of the elimination of the world’s top terrorist, Qassem Soleimani, the notorious commander of the IRGC’s terrorist Quds Force, who directed and implemented the Iranian regime’s doctrine of exporting “revolution” or Islamic extremism and terrorism across the globe, particularly in the Middle East.
Soleimani was killed along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Al Hashd Al Shaabi, (aka. Popular Mobilization Forces) and the secretary-general of Kata’ib Hezbollah, both Iraqi proxies of the Iranian regime.
Soleimani’s death delivered an irreparable blow to Iran’s ruling theocracy and its warmongering machine. Regime officials’ remarks confirmed this fact.
“I offer my sincere condolences today because, in such a critical situation, we needed a field commander like martyr Soleimani. We really miss him today, and he left us in sorrow and grief. We feel his absence in the Resistance fronts [the regime’s proxy wars],” said Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the regime’s parliament speaker on December 30.
“You know that on social media, the enemy has designed a method that if you use [Soleimani’s] name or picture, the platform warns you and closes your account or page. About two months ago, I got a warning because I had mentioned his name in one of my posts on Instagram. After several warnings, they suspended my account,” said Hossain Amir-Abdollahian, the regime’s current Foreign Minister, in December 2020.
Iranians in and out of the country enthusiastically welcomed Soleimani’s elimination. Similarly, the people of Syria and Iraq, where Soleimani butchered people in his effort to prop up the murderous regime of Bashar-al Assad or the puppet government of Nouri-al Maliki in Iraq, publicly celebrated his killing.
While the regime has tried to deny this fact, a bit of reality seeped into state media broadcasts in the run-up to Soleimani’s death anniversary in 2021. In one program on December 31, 2021, an analyst acknowledged that after the news broke on January 3, 2020, “Suddenly, we saw people in the region distributing sweets among each other celebrating the death of commander Soleimani.” This observation was independently corroborated by social media users who took advantage of the pending anniversary as an opportunity to circulate the footage of those celebrations.
Despite the regime’s efforts to portray Soleimani as a national hero, defiant youth tore down or set fire to thousands of Soleimani’s posters during the major Iran protests in January 2020. At the same time, Iranians have not missed any opportunity to mock and ridicule Soleimani and the regime.
In reaction, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said on January 1, 2022: “You are aware of what they do to his name on social media. This is a punishment for our officials and us, so we learn what to do with this [social media].”
In 2020, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior member of Hamas’ leadership, told Al-Alam, the Arabic-language network of Iran’s state-run television, that during a 2006 meeting with Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, he explained “the fundamental problem of staff and social services of the people of Gaza” to Soleimani.
“Haj Qassem immediately responded to our request and on the next day, when the trip was over, I saw $22 million in our luggage in the airport,” al-Zahar said.
On December 27, 2021, the Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah heaped praise on Soleimani for providing “logistical support” to the Hezbollah and not recognizing “any red lines” in sending 9M133 Kornet missiles to Gaza for Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
Nasrallah acknowledged that after the 33-day war in 2006, when 200,000 homes were destroyed in Lebanon, Soleimani paid one years’ worth of rent and expenses to the families who had lost their homes.
Soleimani had also coordinated and planned attacks in places as far-flung as Thailand, New Delhi, Lagos, and Nairobi. In those counties, the Quds Force carried out at least 30 terrorist attacks in 2011 and 2012. As a senior member of the IRGC’s high command, Soleimani also directed the regime’s repressive apparatus inside Iran.
Throughout his career, Soleimani targeted the main Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), in Iraq. From January 11, 1993, to April 2003, the Quds Force carried out over 150 terrorist attacks against the MEK in Iraq.
The Quds Force developed the “Improvised Explosive Device (IED)” to target MEK convoys in Iraq. By the end of 2002, over 12 roadside bombs, including IEDs and car bombs, were used against the MEK convoys, resulting in dozens of casualties.
From 2009 to 2016, the regime’s proxy terrorist groups in Iraq killed 141 MEK members by launching lethal attacks against the MEK’s camps Ashraf and Liberty. On September 1, 2013, the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Special Forces, commanded by the Quds Force, launched a pre-dawn raid on Camp Ashraf, killing, execution-style, 52 MEK members. Many had their hands tied behind their backs and were shot in the head.
The Iranian regime’s “beloved commander” was a cruel psychopath who carried out the regime’s deadly strategy with maximum brutality and bloodshed. He was dubbed as a “child killer” among Syrians.
Nevertheless, his death served as a severe blow to the regime’s terrorist apparatus. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), described the elimination of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mehdi al-Muhandes as an “irreparable blow to the clerical regime.”
At the time, Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that “The time had come to evict the mullahs from the region, especially from Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and expel the IRGC from these countries. In this way, Iraq, which had been delivered by the United States to the clerical regime on a silver platter, will be liberated from the yoke of the religious fascism ruling Iran.”
Although weakened, the Iranian regime has not stopped its terrorist activities since Soleimani’s death because the export of terrorism is one of its pillars of survival, domestic suppression being the other. The resort to such conduct, however, must be viewed as a sign of weakness and not strength. In response, the international community must adopt a firm policy to counter the Iranian regime’s terrorism and regional adventurism. Appeasement will only embolden the regime to pursue the same nefarious policies in the region and beyond.