The death of Soleimani is a fa­tal blow to Iran regime

The Herald - - Herald Voices -

THE elim­i­na­tion in Bagh­dad of se­nior Ira­nian Gen­eral Qasem Soleimani and his deputy and Chief of Staff of Op­er­a­tions Abu Me­hdi Mo­han­des by the Amer­i­cans, is a fa­tal blow to the Ira­nian regime.

Soleimani was listed as an in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ist by the

Amer­i­can State Depart­ment. He con­trolled the Is­lamic Revo­lu­tion­ary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, their vi­cious unit re­spon­si­ble for ex­trater­ri­to­rial op­er­a­tions.

Soleimani was an­swer­able only to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ay­a­tol­lah Khamenei and as such, was de­scribed by many as the sec­ond most pow­er­ful per­son in the Is­lamic Repub­lic.

As Qods Force com­man­der, he over­saw the regime’s proxy wars in Syria, Ye­men, Lebanon and Iraq, where he was com­man­der in chief of all the Iraqi mili­tias. His death is an ir­repara­ble blow to the clerical regime.

Fol­low­ing the revo­lu­tion which brought Ay­a­tol­lah Ruholla Khome­nei to power in 1979, the Ira­nian con­sti­tu­tion was al­tered to in­tro­duce the sys­tem of ve­layat-e-faqih, or guardian­ship of the Is­lamic jurist, ef­fec­tively pro­vid­ing the Supreme Leader with power claimed to come di­rectly from God.

Khome­nei moved rapidly to elim­i­nate op­po­si­tion to his clerical dic­ta­tor­ship, ruth­lessly mur­der­ing tens of thou­sands of po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents whom he claimed were guilty of ‘mo­hare­beh’ or ‘wag­ing war against God’.

The se­cret mas­sacre of more than 30,000 sup­port­ers of the Peo­ple’s Mo­ja­hedin of Iran in 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.

Khome­nei 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 Qods Force not only bru­tally en­forces the clerical regime’s op­pres­sive dom­i­na­tion of the Ira­nian pop­u­la­tion, it also con­trols most of the Ira­nian econ­omy, pay­ing no taxes and fun­nelling re­sources into the pock­ets of the rul­ing elite, while spon­sor­ing ter­ror­ism and ag­gres­sive mil­i­tary ex­pan­sion­ism abroad.

Soleimani played a key role in this process. His poster fea­tured on walls and hoard­ings across the Mid­dle East.

Fol­low­ing the siege on the US

Em­bassy in Bagh­dad ear­lier this week, graf­fiti on the em­bassy walls in Farsi, rather than Ara­bic, stated “Qasem Soleimani is our leader,” giv­ing the lie to Iran’s in­sis­tence that this was purely an Iraqi protest.

The Amer­i­cans claim Soleimani was ac­tively plot­ting an at­tack on US mil­i­tary per­son­nel in Iraq when they tar­geted him for a drone at­tack.

Iran, with the world’s sec­ond largest gas re­serves and fourth largest crude oil re­serves, is fac­ing eco­nomic melt­down and na­tion­wide protests.

Mil­lions of Ira­ni­ans have taken to the streets in protest at the cor­rup­tion of rul­ing mul­lahs and their wan­ton spend­ing on con­flict and ter­ror.

In a panic, Soleimani, act­ing on in­struc­tions of Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei, ordered the IRGC to launch a mur­der­ous crack­down on the peace­ful pro­test­ers. An es­ti­mated 1,500 were killed, and at least 4,000 wounded and 12,000 ar­rested.

Soleimani ordered a shoot-to-kill pol­icy that has seen masked snipers on gov­ern­ment build­ingsshoot­ing un­armed, young pro­test­ers in the head and chest. IRGC thugs and se­cu­rity agents then scoured the coun­try’s hos­pi­tals, drag­ging the wounded from their beds.

The up­ris­ing was trig­gered by the regime’s de­ci­sion to triple gas prices.

This was the last straw for a na­tion whose cit­i­zens have been im­pov­er­ished by the ve­nally cor­rupt regime that for 40 years has stolen Iran´s wealth for the ben­e­fit of its rulers and to wage proxy wars across the Mid­dle East.

Sim­i­lar na­tion­wide protests have raged across Iraq in re­cent weeks, where young Iraqis de­manded an end to Ira­nian in­ter­fer­ence in their coun­try and the ex­pul­sion of Soleimani and his co­horts.

In a chill­ing in­ter­view Soleimani claimed “We know how to deal with pro­test­ers in Iran,” as once again he de­ployed masked gun­men to mur­der hun­dreds of Iraqi demon­stra­tors.

Qasem Soleimani was one of the most vi­cious crim­i­nals in Iran’s his­tory. Pre­tend­ing to aid the West in their war against ISIS, Soleimani over­saw the geno­ci­dal mas­sacre of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Sun­nis in the an­cient Iraqi cities of Fal­lu­jah, Ra­madi and Mo­sul, leav­ing smok­ing ru­ins in his wake.

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 be­hav­iour of the regime proves that at­tempts at ne­go­ti­a­tion or ap­pease­ment are point­less.

Soleimani, over­saw geno­ci­dal mas­sacre of Sun­nis in the an­cient Iraqi cities

Struan Steven­son is the Co­or­di­na­tor of the Cam­paign for Iran Change (CIC) and in­ter­na­tional lec­turer on the Mid­dle East and pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Iraqi Free­dom As­so­ci­a­tion.

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