Dr Hamaneh Karimi-Kia
Head of Press Section, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pakistan
At dawn on Friday, July 3, 2020, the US mercenaries attacked the convoy of General Qassem Soleimani. This attack which is a gross human rights violations and a clear violation of the Iraqi territorial integrity and sovereignty resulted in martyrdom of nine other of his companions, including Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Such a terrorist brutality, its motives and consequences need long discussions which are beyond this brief paper. The only point to be made is about General Soleimani’s personality who was chosen for this aggressive drone attack. Also, it will be discussed that the likely consequences of the attack for the region and the US will not be limited to a short time.
General Soleimani was a character beyond borders by his beliefs, motives and sincere faith. With a tireless spirit, he worked for more than 40 years on the path of Islam and the Islamic Revolution to provide security, freedom and dignity to Muslims, especially people of his country. Although he was repeatedly targeted for assassination and assault, but he never backed down.
Soleimani is regarded as one of the most powerful and influential people in the region and among Muslims. He has played an important role in strengthening Lebanon’s Hezbollah, pushing Israel back from southern Lebanon, the Afghan war, shaping the Iraqi political environment after Saddam Hussein’s overthrow, altering the Syrian civil war and confronting ISIS in Iraq, Syria and throughout the region. In the fight against ISIS, helping to preserve the territorial integrity of Islamic countries and preventing the break-up of these countries in favor of Israel, Soleimani emerged as a military strategist, a powerful commander as well as an influential leader who defended Muslims and all revolutionary forces in the region under one flag. In his life, he has worked hard for the unity of the Islamic Ummat in various ways, and in fact one of the most important fruits of his martyrdom is the unity of the Muslims and the freedom-seeker people in the world and in recognizing their true enemy.
In May 2017, the “Le Monde” newspaper described Qassem Soleimani as “the most powerful man in the Middle East” and wrote: Qassem Soleimani has been at war for 37 years. He has learned military techniques and strategies since the beginning of the war of Iraq against Iran from 1980s. Later, after the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator Saddam, he went to Iraq and now he is in Syria. Le Monde also called Qassem Soleimani “Iranian’s Che Guevara” and quoted Abdullah Ganji, the Chief-editor of an Iranian newspaper called “Javan”, as saying: “Since the Islamic Revolution, he (Soleimani) has lived in war. His life is not like us. People like him even have to worry in bed. But he wants to be a martyr. ”
The reason why Soleimani has been chosen as the target of the attack of the state terrorism of America is clear. He prevented the fulfillment of the goals of the United States and Israel for the disintegration of the Muslim countries and he once again inflamed the spirit of resistance, sacrifice, dignity and zeal for the Muslim nations. With his martyrdom, Soleimani brought his mission to its climax and final fulfillment. Because his martyrdom gave a new motivation to Muslims and the world’s oppressed to stand up to arrogance, disbelief, hypocrisy and bullying. Soleimani’s life and death were all on the path to a great goal, and that prevented him from fear of death.
During a visit by senior Pakistani military officials to Iran, in a meeting with Commander Qassem Soleimani and many Iranian high ranking officials, a Pakistani official said, “Don’t worry! If anyone attacks Iran, we will remain neutral”. General Soleimani replied: but if anyone attacks Pakistan, we will rush to help Pakistan. Pakistan’s security is Iran’s security. The Iranian brothers are willing to sacrifice their lives for their Pakistani brothers. For Qassem Soleimani, the homeland is not just a Westphalian concept. For him, wherever there is an oppressed human-being, there is a homeland and wherever there is a Muslim under Oppression, there is homeland. For him Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan are all the names of one homeland: the homeland of Islam and freedom. If the Muslims, with such a vision and attitude, stand up to the arrogant forces that have invaded the region, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the Islamic countries will no longer simply be violated by aliens and there will be no innocent bloodshed. Yes, today the Islamic Ummah needs Qassem Soleimanis more than any other day. From the blessings of Qassem Soleimani’s blood, hundreds of others are raised.
The martyrdom of General Suleimani is a turning point in the awakening of the Islamic world. The awakening of the Islamic world, but also of all the truth-seekers and peace-lovers of the world, lies in knowing the true nature of war and peace. America, which claims to fight terrorism, assassinated the hero of the fight against terrorism and ISIS! In addition to being morally hypocritical and of double standards, this is a clear example of state terrorism in international law. The attack on Iraqi soil and the assassination of General Suleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes are gross violations of the UN Charter and, according to Chapter Seven, a significant threat to international peace and security. The US not only violated Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with its assassination; it also openly violated the terms of its agreements with the Iraqi government. Both Iranian and Iraqi commanders were senior members of the armed forces of the two states, and attacking them is an attack on their respective countries. The US government cannot evade its responsibility for this brutal and aggressive act.
Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Friday condemned the US move to Martyr Quds Force Commander Qassem Suleimani and Commander of Hashd Al-sha’abi, Abu al-Mahdi Mohandis, as violation of Iraqi national sovereignty. Referring to the martyrdom of Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the successor of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Organization (al-Hashed al-Sha’abi), he said: “Assassination of an Iraqi military commander holding an official post is an assault on Iraq.”
From the earliest hours of spreading the news about General Suleimani’s martyrdom, Muslims and rights activists around the world have responded. People, media, officials and personalities in various countries including Iran, Pakistan, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria have condemned the assassination of Suleimani. After Friday prayers, Muslims around the world marched in protest to this cowardly assassination. All these developments are indicative of the internationality of General Suleimani, his way and purpose. The international image of the United States has become increasingly distorted, and its motto in combating terrorism has taken on a more cartoonish character.
The Islamic world now sees the face of America with no disguise. The US and its allies are not reluctant to shed the blood of Muslims. Those who have been skeptical of US targets in the region now see the United States which has created ISIS and other terrorist groups to break up the Islamic world, now unjustly assassinating Commanders who fought ISIS. Now the veil has fallen off the face of the United States and the Muslim nations will certainly take vigorous revenge on this government, but it is not about killing a few, but about starting a new phase in the big fight to dismiss US troops from our region and to put an end to US foreign interventions.