Two years since assassination of Commander Soleimani: Biography and goals

Two years since assassination of Commander Soleimani: Biography and goals

The fact that the United States of America committed this crime against a high-ranking Iranian military official and then declared responsibility, constitutes a significant regional development. It clearly meant that the US administration had lost its indirect tools of influence and deterrence in the face of the axis of resistance and that it needed to change the rules of engagement and restore to the old methods based on assassinations and bullying.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Why was the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani and his companion Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis an exceptional event? What are the motives behind the assassination? And how did the regional reality change two years after the assassination?

The fact that the United States of America committed this crime against a high-ranking Iranian military official and then declared responsibility, constitutes a significant regional development. It clearly meant that the US administration had lost its indirect tools of influence and deterrence in the face of the axis of resistance and that it needed to change the rules of engagement and restore to the old methods based on assassinations and bullying.

Why Soleimani in particular?

Choosing Major General Soleimani as a direct target was based on two factors:

The first factor: The effective role the Quds Force played under his leadership over a period of three decades that undermined American hegemony and the tyranny of the Zionist occupation.

This role had different dimensions: arming the resistance wings, training, and coordination. The martyr realized the importance of countering the US political influence, not just its military presence.

For example, he was keen to track and thwart American projects and steps aimed at perpetuating the US presence in Iraq. And whenever the Americans tried to gather the threads of their political proxies in this country, Commander Soleimani would obstruct it. His presence disrupted those proxies and plans.

If he heard that the Americans were supporting the nomination of so-and-so to a senior position in this country, he pushed things in the opposite direction, knowing that the Americans want their interests first and foremost.

Of course, he wouldn’t have assumed such a great role had it not been for the leadership of the Islamic Republic and its various apparatuses forcefully backing the Quds Force in carrying out its duties.

The second factor: The unique personality of the martyr, which combines several traits, the most prominent of which were:

1- The clarity of the ideological-political premise of the school he represents, which is the school of Imam Khomeini. This school produced many cadres and leaders who became martyrs in the battlefields of Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

By ideological premise, we mean here the radical stance against the Zionist entity and the American policies that the late Imam described as arrogant policies. It is well-known that Hajj Qassem was asked by a US commander in Iraq to discuss the possibility of coordinating the war against Daesh, and he refused to open a dialogue with the American.

2- The strategic vision: Martyr Soleimani had a comprehensive vision of the conflict with the American and “Israeli” enemies. He viewed the region from Afghanistan to Palestine as an integrated field of action, even if the circumstances of each country differed from the other. For example, he was fully aware of the importance of removing the American occupation from the region, specifically from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, considering this presence as a factor of instability and a reason for direct intervention in determining the future of these countries and a direct threat to the Islamic Republic. He was also very serious in strengthening the capabilities of the resistance against the Zionist occupation, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

3- Field presence: Martyr Soleimani was distinguished as a man of the battlefield. He had a special dynamic. He was fond of being on the frontlines among the fighters so he could get a closer look at the nature of the situation, to strengthen them, and to show the importance of their battle at these pivotal stations. This had a significant impact on recharging the resolve, concentrating military and political efforts, and achieving victories.

4- The role model and the example: He was keen to set an example in the fraternal and cordial dealings with the fighters to give the battle its true moral dimension. The two opposing fronts are not distinguished by military force or political position, but rather by the spiritual values that each group carries and translates into Islamic behavior based on the teachings of the Messenger’s household [PBUT].

5- The initiative: It is true that Major General Soleimani was a military leader, but he was distinguished from many military leaders in that he was a man of initiative; he did not wait to receive the taklifs [obligations]. Rather, by virtue of his long experience and his all-pervading sense, he diagnosed what was required and then moved to obtaine approval from the leadership.

The Goals of the Assassination:

Far from the American pretext that was given to justify the assassination, which centered on allegations that martyr Soleimani planned an imminent attack on the American embassy in Baghdad – the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard described the killing of General Qassem Soleimani was an “arbitrary killing” that violated the UN Charter, and that the United States did not provide evidence that planning was underway for an “imminent attack” on its interests – motives for this crime and the manner in which it was committed can be identified as follows:

- Spreading fear and demoralizing within the resistance axis (through the method of intimidation) and trying to re-establish deterrence in the face of Iran and push it to withdraw its support from its allies. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed this trend at Stanford University's Hoover Institution in January 2020, in a symposium titled "The Restoration of Deterrence: The Iranian Example". He noted that Soleimani was killed as part of a broader strategy to deter challenges posed by Washington's opponents, focusing in particular on Iran.

This strategy was previously eroded by the axis of resistance amid the decline in the American prestige and presence in the region, which was established by almost no achievement in all areas. Meanwhile, the axis of resistance was advancing and besieging the American military presence and influence in Iraq and was pushing Washington to think about withdrawing its forces from Syria as it failed to arrange any gains that would contribute to changing the reality there.

The failure of America's allies in Yemen, the accumulated American military deficit in Afghanistan, and the failure of the Zionist entity to confront the resistance in Palestine and Lebanon were additional reasons for demolishing the image of US policy in the Middle East.

During the Trump era, the Americans felt that the axis of resistance was becoming increasingly emboldened. There are numerous examples – the attack on the Abqaiq oil facility in Saudi Arabia, Iran’s downing of a 130-million-dollar American drone, and the intensification of the frequency of operations against American forces in Iraq.

- Getting Iran to submit to its nuclear program. Trump's ambition was to reformulate the nuclear agreement in a way that takes into account the viewpoint of his allies on the Zionist right.

- Restoring the confidence of America's allies in Iraq and the region. This confidence and bets on the United States have been shaken by the experiences in recent years, despite the massive American military spending. Washington realized that removing its forces from Iraq again (after the first exit in 2011) means losing the greatest political influence in this country and its surroundings. That is why the Americans were keen to maintain a military presence there to install their allies and tools.

- Attempting to enhance the image of the Trump administration inside the United States and rallying up the masses against external enemies (specifically Islamic ones). This is important in light of the sharp internal partisan polarization in this country.

- Was Soleimani's assassination also an “Israeli” demand? This may be one of the most important and perhaps main motives in light of Netanyahu’s and the Zionist lobby’s extraordinary influence on the American president at the time. And Donald Trump recently – about a year after his exit from office – expressed his dissatisfaction with Netanyahu for believing that he used him to assassinate Soleimani.  According to the American Axios news website, Trump said that Netanyahu was “willing to fight Iran to the last American soldier.”

The former head of the “Israeli” Military Intelligence Division, Tamir Hayman, also revealed that the Mossad played a role in the assassination of the commander of the Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, according to the “Israeli” Kan radio station.

We can guess the reason why the enemy pushed the US administration to get rid of a high-ranking leader of Soleimani's stature, in light of the role he played at the head of the Quds Force in terms of strengthening the resistance wings, providing them with the means of strength, and deterring the Zionist entity.

The strategic response

All these motives and goals did not change the outcome of the reality of US policy in the region. The axis of resistance was affected for some time by the assassination of Soleimani, but it has maintained its goals and program of work and is continuing to implement the strategy of removing US forces from the region, starting with Iraq and Syria.

Here, it’s worth recalling what the Leader [Imam] Khamenei said on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Quds Force commander, when he stressed that “driving out the American forces from the region will be the most powerful blow” to respond to his assassination, after the initial bold response to the crime.

He also vowed to avenge Soleimani by punishing those responsible for giving orders and carrying out the assassination "whenever the opportunity arises." His Eminence called for accelerating technological, scientific, and military progress to enhance deterrence against the enemy, which is becoming evident day after day.

Thus, Washington and those who seek refuge under its umbrella were disappointed that Soleimani’s absence had no impact on the strategy of the axis of resistance. And the rush by the United States to arrange its military presence in Iraq before the end of 2021 is an indication of the continuing presence and influence of this axis, despite all the tremendous pressures exerted by successive US administrations.


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