Erfan Fard

Soleimani: Life and Death Marked by Loss of Lives!

A character whose presence and posthumous legacy are both marred by victimhood
Iranians prepare to set an Israeli flag on fire next to a picture of late Iranian general Qassem Soleimani during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) day in Tehran, on April 29, 2022 (AFP)

Four years have passed since the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a pivotal event that continues to reverberate throughout the Middle East. Soleimani’s death, a significant event in Islamic Republic’s politics, continues to have far-reaching implications, reshaping the landscape of power and conflict in the region.

Soleimani, a prominent figure in Iran’s IRGC strategy, played a crucial role in expanding the Quds Force‘s regional influence. His controversial and aggressive actions were deeply intertwined with the Islamic Republic’s policies post-1979, a period marked by Iran’s active involvement in regional conflicts and support for proxy terrorist groups. His leadership style and decisions significantly influenced Iran’s foreign policy and its relations with both neighboring countries and the global community.

Today, on the fourth anniversary of Qasem Soleimani’s removal, was marred by tragedy and a blast occurred in Kerman. However, A cleric, a Revolutionary Guard, a high-ranking security or military official, or one of Qasem Soleimani’s family members were not among the casualties. Instead, those who were killed and wounded were ordinary, unarmed civilians.

The Islamic Republic’s government has been operating based on extensive propaganda since 1979. It claims to be the most significant supporter of terrorism but constantly strives to portray itself as a victim of terrorism. Nowadays, it is no longer hidden from anyone that Qasem Soleimani was a key architects of terrorist quasi-military groups across the Middle East. Yet, In the aftermath of Soleimani’s death, tensions and unrest have continued to escalate in the Middle East.

Forces under his command have turned the four main capitals of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen into ruins due to his reckless adventures and his regime’s support in Tehran. Under the cover of “Islamic resistance”, transnational terrorist networks have disrupted regional stability. However, Iran, under Soleimani’s successor’s direction, remains a key player in regional conflicts, influencing the political landscape in the region. The Iranian regime’s tactics and its involvement in these areas have further exacerbated the instability and sectarian divides.

The Middle East faces a precarious future, with ongoing challenges in achieving peace and stability. Iran’s aggressive actions, coupled with internal suppression and propaganda, contribute to a volatile environment. Looking ahead, addressing these complexities and moving towards sustainable peace will require strategic and collaborative efforts from regional and international actors. The path forward is fraught with challenges, highlighting the need for a nuanced approach to Middle Eastern politics.

Today, the Middle East stands on the brink of a devastating war, where thousands of ordinary citizens in various places have been killed for no crime or wrongdoing.

When Iran’s regime mourned Qasem Soleimani’s corpse, approximately 55 people were killed under the feet and hands of the people. Today, on the fourth anniversary of his death, over 100 people, including women and children, were killed again.

During nationwide uprisings against the mullah’s government within the country, young protesters repeatedly set fire to Soleimani’s statue. This was because the government attempted to turn him into a national hero against terrorism through propaganda, which it failed to achieve. This led to placing guards for Soleimani’s statue day and night in every city.

However, throughout these four years, Tehran’s government has always promised harsh revenge. In practice, though, it is the Iranian people who have suffered the consequences.

Self- immolation” is a phrase well-known among the public opinion in Iran, referring to incidents such as the crash of the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on January 8, 2020, the mass shooting at the complex of Shah Cheragh on October 26, 2022, and the Cinema Rex incident in Abadan on August 19, 1978. These are significant examples within the Iranian society and social networks, and people believe that innocent citizens have become the human shield and cannon fodder of the government. Such incidents serve as stark reminders of the government’s willingness to sacrifice innocent citizens.

The notable point in the Kerman incident is that 33 Afghan nationals were killed and injured, and Iranian society does not accept that ISIS, which has been defeated and destroyed, would attempt such a suspicious plan in Kerman. A plan that appears to be a repetition of the regime’s propaganda.

Religiously, the reenactment of Ashura and the portrayal of victimhood are among the tactics used by the clerics. However, it serves no benefit to Israel. Today, concerns about the arrest and execution of some young individuals are also raised among the people, which Khamenei might attempt to use to appease public sentiments.

Regardless of who Qasem Soleimani was, his record and legacy in contemporary Iranian history is negative. Still, with today’s incident, it might be possible to place his name alongside the “Chariot of Death.”

Pointing fingers at the U.S. and Israel is pointless, and the Islamic Republic still threatens to kill American officials by activating sleeper cells, contrary to international principles.

In conclusion, Qasem Soleimani’s legacy remains a contentious topic, with ongoing regional repercussions that demand a closer look.  As we reflect on the past four years, it is clear that the Middle East‘s future hinges on the ability of all stakeholders to address these challenges and pursue a path toward lasting peace.

About the Author
Erfan Fard is a counter-terrorism analyst and Middle East Studies researcher based in Washington, DC. He is in Middle Eastern regional security affairs with a particular focus on Iran, Counter terrorism, IRGC, MOIS and Ethnic conflicts in MENA. \He graduated in International Security Studies (London M. University, UK), and in International Relations (CSU-LA), and is fluent in Persian, Kurdish, Arabic and English. Follow him in this twitter account @EQFARD