Iran’s ruling theocracy has announced a week-long memorial for its eliminated terror mastermind, Qassem Soleimani. Longer than most of the other state-staged ceremonies, Tehran needs this circus as a hollow show of power while desperate and vulnerable in the face of the nationwide uprising, now in its fourth month.
Nevertheless, Soleimani’s statues, symbols, and banners are being repeatedly burned or damaged by Iranian protesters as they defy the ruling theocracy and whoever and whatever represents this genocidal regime.
But who was Soleimani? Why is the regime using his death anniversary?
Who was Qassem Soleimani?
In the shortest terms, Soleimani perfectly represented Iran’s genocidal regime: A ruthless criminal with a bloody record. He was an infamous symbol of the mullahs’ intimidation, terrorism, and murders in Iran and abroad. Born in 1957, Soleimani rapidly climbed the ladder of power in the regime due to his loyalty and brutality in implementing Tehran’s doctrine of building a “global Islamic state.”
Soleimani carried the rank of major general and headed the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) extraterritorial arm, the terrorist Quds Force, and in that capacity, he was an irreplaceable enforcer.
Dubbed the “Child-killer,” Soleimani played a key role in oppressing the Syrian people’s uprising. He participated in the occupation of Aleppo in 2016 and orchestrated the chemical attack on Ghouta in 2013.
Soleimani commanded, trained, and funded the regime’s proxy terrorist groups in the neighboring countries. Following the Second Persian Gulf War in 2003, Khamenei tasked Soleimani with the gradual occupation of Iraq. He masterminded the killing of American forces using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs).
Nader Talebzadeh, the former head of the “New Horizon” organization, an IRGC front organization for recruiting spies, acknowledged this fact on January 4, 2021.
“Who made so much trouble for them [American troops]? It was the same commander of shadows. Who trained them [the regime’s terrorist proxy groups] and used the tactic of using roadside bombs, which were like stones? The Americans called these bombs IEDs. I remember how disturbed they were and how the U.S. media reflected this disturbance in 2003 after the U.S. occupied Iraq. Who disturbed them? Whose idea was it?” he boasted.
#Iran Regime’s Official Acknowledges Qassem Soleimani’s Role in Killing Coalition Forces in Iraq
Head of a front organization of IRGC has revealed how #Iran’s eliminated terror master Qassem Soleimani “used IEDs to kill #US forces in Iraqhttps://t.co/iIuZp0oUQJ pic.twitter.com/gCAncqhpMr
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 4, 2021
“We saw the footage, but whose terrifying shadow was behind it? Who devastated them? One day we should make movies about it and all the other works he [Soleimani] had done. One of them was the IED in Iraq, for which the Americans continued blaming Iran and the Quds Force. This was one of his little initiatives to make Iraq unsafe for the Americans.”
In addition to carrying out bombings against the coalition forces, Soleimani oversaw a network of corrupt politicians. Tehran needed a puppet government to expand its power in the region easily and, most importantly, settle the score with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the mullahs’ archenemy, which was based in Iraq until 2016. The government of Nouri-al Maleki, then-Prime Minister of Iraq, imposed a siege on camps Ashraf and Liberty, home to the MEK members, and attacked unarmed residents of those camps, killing 141 and wounding more than 1,500. Soleimani also plotted and ordered the “Camp Ashraf Massacre” on September 1, 2013, using the so-called “Kata’ib Hezbollah” and “Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq” and Maleki’s so-called “Golden Special Units.”
The attack led to the execution-style killing of 52 defenseless MEK members. Seven others, including six women, were taken hostage. Even today, after almost ten years, the fate of the MEK hostages remains unknown. Two days after the attack, Soleimani attended the regime’s Assembly of Experts session and described the massacre as “more important than the Eternal Light operation,” referring to a large-scale MEK operation in July 1988, in which the MEK advanced to the gate of Kermanshah in western Iran.
Soleimani’s crimes were not limited to outside Iran. He was actively engaged in suppressing the nationwide uprisings in Iran since the 1990s. He co-signed a letter by senior IRGC officials in July 1999, at the height of university student protests, calling for a violent crackdown. “Our patience has run out,” they wrote
“During the 1999 and 2009 seditions, Haj Qassem was on the streets to fight the anti-revolutionaries and took effective measures to contain the insecurity and riots,” Mohammad Ali Jafari, former IRGC commander in chief, acknowledged on Twitter on February 12, 2020. Soleimani also used his units to suppress the nationwide uprisings in 2018 and November 2019.
A Criminal or a National hero?
On January 3, 2020, a U.S.-led airstrike targeted a convoy exiting the Baghdad International Airport, killing Soleimani, and delivering an irreparable blow to Khamenei and his regime. Along with making a great deal of fanfare about their “harsh revenge,” Iranian officials started an extensive campaign of misinformation to portray Soleimani as a “national hero” who had “fought ISIS and protected the borders!” His pictures filled all walls across Iran, and the regime mobilized its forces to attend his “funeral.”
The regime’s apologists abroad used the footage of the state-staged circus, pushing the regime’s narrative that Soleimani was indeed supported by Iranians, and sadly some international outlets bought this blatant lie wholesale.
On January 4, 2020, Trita Parsi, a career apologist and a co-founder of Tehran’s main lobby group in the U.S., the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), quoted an unknown Arab official as saying that “What Trump achieved Soleimani could not achieve in his life. In his death, he united the people of Iran. He managed to unite the people of Iraq as well. Now instead of going into the streets against Iran, they are there against the USA.”
Azadeh Moaveni, another Iran regime’s apologist, published a lengthy interview with Vali Nasr, a former advisor to the United States State Department and another infamous apologist, praising Soleimani’s role “in protecting Erbil and Kirkuk from the ISIS onslaught in 2014, at a precarious moment when there was no Turkish or US back-up for the peshmerga.”
The list of Parsi peers who whole-heartedly mourned the elimination of their “beloved commander” is very long. They tried to whitewash the crimes of an unscrupulous and sadistic mass murderer, closing their eyes on the plight of Iranian and Syrian citizens.
But their illusion didn’t last long. Soon protesters who gathered following the downing of a Ukrainian airliner by the IRGC tore down Soleimani’s pictures. This was indeed the reality that Tehran’s pundits tried to conceal. In fact, Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian societies were overwhelmed with joy and jubilation following Soleimani’s elimination. Videos of people celebrating Soleimani’s death went viral, and people started making jokes about him. That happiness was in large measure due to his malign role in implementing the regime’s warmongering policies. Now his pictures and symbols are being torched daily by protesters across Iran.
The Iranian Resistance, mainly the MEK-affiliated network of “Resistance Units,” led the way by torching Soleimani’s symbols and turning it into the new normal. From January 2020 to this date, the Resistance Units carried out thousands of operations, targeting emblems and banners of the clerical regime, particularly those of Qassem Soleimani.
On January 5, 2022, the MEK’s activists torched the large and newly built statue of Qassem Soleimani in Shahr-ekord at 9:30 pm local time. Simultaneously, they burned large banners with his pictures across the country.
In the early hours of August 11, 2021, a Resistance Unit in Yasuj set fire to the statue of Soleimani in the main square of the city.
These brave acts, under the nose of the regime’s covert and overt agents and surveillance cameras, set a precedent for Iran’s youths, which the world now admires as the revolution in the making continues.
While Soleimani’s death was a major blow to the theocratic regime’s terrorist apparatus, the international community should once and for all end Tehran’s rampant terrorism by adopting a firm policy.
The Iranian regime’s terrorist diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, now convicted and imprisoned in Belgium, was caught red-handed in July 2018 for attempting to bomb the Iranian Resistance’s “Free Iran” World Summit in Paris. Hundreds of renowned western politicians were among over 100,000 participants in this event.
During investigations, it was revealed that Assadi ran a large network of terrorism and espionage across Europe. In fact, all of Iran’s embassies across the globe are centers of espionage and terrorism.
In a leaked audio interview with the regime’s then-Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that the mullahs’ foreign policy and terrorism go hand-in-hand and that the so-called diplomatic apparatus was acting under the orders of the IRGC Quds force.
Tehran has been exporting terrorism and chaos abroad in a bid to prolong its evil rule but at the cost of the Iranian people’s livelihood. The regime’s use of terrorism is a sign of its domestic illegitimacy and isolation. Now, as religious fascism is in a deadlock facing the nationwide uprising, it is high time for the world community to support the Iranian people and secure peace in the region by cutting all ties with Tehran, closing its embassies, and expelling its agents from all countries.