Thursday, January 9, 2020

Soleimani Was the Hardest of the Hardliners in Iran

Iran's General Qassem Soleimani was in America's cross-hairs for many years. He was the hardest of the hardliners in Tehran. He was very effective in his role as the head of the elite but ruthless Qods Force which is part of Iran's "Pasdaraan" (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps). He had made many powerful enemies, both at home and abroad. Some conspiracy theorists are speculating that his assassination was staged by American and Iranian intelligence agencies to get rid of the Iranian general who was getting too big for his boots. American and Iranian Intelligence agencies have cooperated in their common battle against ISIS in recent years. Both sides wanted to eliminate Soleimani for their own reasons but without starting a real US-Iran war.

Soleimani Assassination: 

His assassination on President Donald Trump's orders last week brought Washington and Tehran to the brink of yet another major war in the Middle East as  Iran lobbed over a dozen missiles at two Iraqi airbases housing American troops. The world took a sigh of relief when Trump decided to not escalate the situation. At the same time, conspiracy theorists have speculated that the whole things was staged by American and Iranian intelligence agencies to get rid of the Iranian general who was getting too big for his boots.  American and Iranian Intelligence agencies have cooperated in their common battle against ISIS in recent years. Both sides wanted to eliminate Soleimani without starting a real war.

Soleimani's assassination has raised many questions: Was it just President Trump who wanted the Qods Force chief dead? Are there others, particularly in Teheran, who are privately happy to see him gone? Was the general getting too big for his boots? Did some of the leaders in the Islamic Republic see his growing popularity and arrogance as a threat to their own power?  Let's try and address these questions.




Soleimani's Growing Popularity:

Polling data showed Soleimani was more popular than other major public figures, according to the Center for International Studies at the University of Maryland. It published a survey in 2018 that found Soleimani had a popularity rating of 83%, beating President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif. 

Soleimani vs Rouhani:

There were reports in 2018 of President Hassan Rouhani lashing out at Soleimani during a meeting with several senior IRGC officers in attendance,  accusing him of hiding the truth from the president and even from the supreme leader. Soleimani left the room in anger. Earlier, when the two met during Friday prayers, Soleimani warned the president about the “folly of not increasing the budget allotted to Quds.”

Soleimani vs Zarif:

Soleimani sat by Imam Khamenei’s side at key meetings, conveying his importance in the eyes of the spiritual leader. He met Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad in February 2019 together with the supreme leader — but without Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, triggering resignation threats by Iran's top diplomat.

Soleimani Threatened Pakistan:

In February, 2019, Soleimani threatened Pakistan. He boasted of Iran's "independent power and honor". He said:

"I warn you not to test Iran and anyone who has tested Iran has received firm response. We are speaking to Pakistan with a friendly tone and we are telling that country not to allow their borders to become a source of insecurity for the neighboring countries..... Iran enjoys independent power and honor. Some countries have wealth, but no prowess. Trump tells the Al-Saud that if it hadn't been for the US support, Saudi Arabia would not have survived and Saudi Arabia's coalitions in the region have all ended in failure."

Soleimani's tone in this message to Pakistan is anything but "friendly".

Soleimani's Global Covert Ops:

In 2012, Indian investigators found that five members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were involved bombing of a car of the wife of the Israeli defense attache in New Delhi.  IRGC was also allegedly linked to a similar attack in Thailand. The 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina that killed 85 is believed to be IRGC's revenge in part for the 1992 killing of a Hezbollah leader.

Summary:

General Qassem Soleimani was the hardest of the hardliners.  As the head of the powerful and ruthless Qods Force, he made many powerful enemies at home and abroad.  Some conspiracy theorists are speculating that his assassination was staged by American and Iranian intelligence agencies to get rid of the Iranian general who was getting too big for his boots.  American and Iranian Intelligence agencies have cooperated in their common battle against ISIS in recent years. Both sides wanted to eliminate Soleimani for their own reasons but without starting a real US-Iran war. He was part of Mullah regime in Iran that has ruined a great country by unnecessarily challenging the United States which they refer to as "Shaitan Buzurg" (Great Satan). Even their missiles paraded every year in the streets of Tehran have “Marg Bar Amrika” (Death to America)  painted on them. Iranian Ex President Ahmadinejad brought unwanted and unhelpful US attention when he threatened to nuke Israel. Even as Iranians are suffering due to US sanctions and poor governance by mullahs, Solemani was going around spending money supporting Shia militias to establish Iran as regional hegemon. These policies have badly hurt Iran and its people.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Iran-Pakistan Ties

Iran's Chabahar and Pakistan's Gwadar Ports

Indian RAW Agent Kulbhushan Jhadav Used Chabahar

Iran-Saudi Conflict

Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Iran Nuclear Deal

1971 India-Pakistan War

Chabahar vs Gwadar Ports

Did America Contribute to the Rise of ISIS?

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

9 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

#CIA Chief Gina Haspel reportedly pushed for #Soleimani's killing — and perfectly predicted #Iran's response. Was it staged? She advised #Trump that the threat Soleimani presented was greater than the threat of Iran's response if he was killed. https://news.yahoo.com/cia-director-gina-haspel-reportedly-151000127.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw via @Yahoo
The Trump administration reportedly knew exactly what would happen when it killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Okay, so it may have just been the prediction of CIA Director Gina Haspel that Iran would retaliate with airstrikes on Iraqi military bases holding U.S. troops. But it was partly based on her analysis that the U.S. decided to assassinate Soleimani in the first place, administration officials tell The New York Times:In the days before General Suleimani’s death, Ms. Haspel had advised Mr. Trump that the threat the Iranian general presented was greater than the threat of Iran's response if he was killed, according to current and former American officials. Indeed, Ms. Haspel had predicted the most likely response would be a missile strike from Iran to bases where American troops were deployed, the very situation that appeared to be playing out on Tuesday afternoon. [The New York Times]The Times is careful to point out that "Haspel took no formal position about whether to kill General Soleimani," but "officials who listened to her analysis came away with the clear view that the C.I.A. believed that killing him would improve — not weaken — security in the Middle East." Read more at The New York Times.

Ali K.C. said...

The evil regime of Iran can not be trusted with either nukes nor of any agreement. These guys are a threat to GCC where over 5 million Pakistanis work. Also if Iran could shoot down even accidently a commercial airliner, it could use nukes. In the interest of the world, the evil Iranian regime must be disbanded.

UAE's population is around 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 8 million are expatriates.Of 8 Million ,around 2.2 M are indians,1.4 Pakistanis,679,819 and 250,000 British. This mean any bomb attack on UAE will more likely kill indians,Pakistanis and Filipinos .

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #Iran says it 'unintentionally' shot down #Ukraine passenger airplane killing all 176 people on board. Iran had previously rejected suggestions that one of its #missiles brought down the plane near #Tehran on Wednesday. #UkrainianPlaneCrash https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51073621

Iran's military says it "unintentionally" shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, Iran's state TV reports.

The statement said it had done so due to "human error" after the plane flew close to a sensitive site belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Those responsible would be held accountable, the statement said.

Iran had previously rejected suggestions that one of its missiles brought down the plane near the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.

But pressure mounted after the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran had brought the plane down with a missile, possibly accidently.

The crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 with the loss of 176 lives came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.

The Ukrainian flight was headed to the Canadian city of Toronto via the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

US media have speculated that the airliner may have been mistaken for a warplane as Iran prepared for possible US retaliation.

Iran has promised a full investigation. However, TV images from the crash site on Thursday showed a mechanical digger helping to clear debris away, raising concerns that important evidence could have been removed.

Hasan said...

03جنوری 2020 کو بی بی سی جنرل قاسم سلمانی پر ایک رپورٹ شائع کرتا ہے جس میں وہ یہ بیان کرنے کی کوشش کرتے ہیں جنرل قاسم سلمانی جلد ہی ایران پر قبضہ کرنے والے ہیں ۔ ایرانی عوام ان سے والہانہ محبت کرتی ہے ۔ ان پر اب ایران میں گانے بنتے ہیں ۔ نوجوان ان کی تصاویر سینے پر سجا کر فخر محسوس کرتے ہیں ۔ ان پر ڈاکومینٹری بنتی ہیں ۔ کیا ایرانی عوام واقعی میں اب ایک اور انقلاب کے لئے تیار ہیں ؟۔ رپورٹ میں مزید لکھتے ہیں کہ کچھ حکومتی حلقوں میں تشویش پائی جاتی ہے۔ کہ سلمانی ایران کا جنرل السیسی نا بن جائے ۔۔۔
مجھے لگتا ہے سلمانی کا قتل ایرانی مشاورت سے ہوا ہے کیونکہ ایران کے سامنے سارے واضح ثبوت رکھے گئے تھے جس کے مطابق گزشتہ دنوں ایک ملک کی آئل ریفائنری پر ہونے والے حملے میں جنرل سلمانی براہ راست شامل تھا اور ایرانی حکومت اس حملے سے نا صرف نالاں تھی بلکے لا علم بھی تھی ۔
ایران کے اندر بڑھتی ہوئی مقبولیت اور حد سے زیادہ خود اعتمادی جنرل سلمانی کی موت کا سبب بنی ہے ۔
کل عر اقی ائیر بیس پر ہونے والے حملے اسی باہمی رضامندی کا نتیجہ ہیں ۔ (جس میں چالیس سے زیادہ میزائل مارے گئے مگر نا کوئی بندہ مرا نا کوئی گاڑی نقصان ہوئی ۔ حتی کے ہیلی کاپٹر اور فائٹر جہاز بھی معجزانہ طور پر اپنی جگہ محفوظ رہے ۔) جس کا ذکر کچھ عالمی اخبارات نے کیا تھا کہ ایران کو فیس سیونگ کے لیے ٹارگٹ دیا جائے گا ۔اب ایرانی وزیر خارجہ کا بیان بھی آ گیا ہے حملے کی پیشگی اطلاع امریکہ کو دی گئی تھی ۔
البتہ ایران کا جن بنا کر اب کچھ عرب ممالک سے مزید ریال لینے کا وقت ہوا چاہتا ہے
میرا تجزیہ ہے خبر نہیں

Riaz Haq said...

#Iran's #Soleimani used #Baloch militants against #Pakistan. Pakistan investigators believe April 18, 2019 killing of 14 #Pakistani Navy personnel on coastal highway at Buzzi Top was orchestrated by #IRGC's #QudsForce.

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/soleimani-used-baloch-militants-against-pakistan/1699967

New Delhi/Islamabad, Jan 3 (IANS) Iran''s most powerful military commander Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US drone strike on Thursday in Baghdad had been secretly using Baloch militant groups against Pakistan.

According to a leaked letter of Pakistan''s ministry of foreign affairs, 14 personnel of Pakistan Armed Forces were killed recently by Baloch militants based in Iran. This was one of the several attacks orchestrated by Baloch militants shielded by Iranian intelligence chief and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Soleimani.

Intelligence sources told IANS that Pakistani forces were killed on April 18, 2019, weeks after 27 IRGC soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists on February 13. Soleimani had strongly lashed out at Pakistan after the killings of 27 Iranian revolutionary guards.

In their complaint to Iranian Embassy, Pakistan foreign ministry wrote, "15 to 20 terrorists who camouflaged themselves in Frontier Corps (FC) uniform barricaded the road and stopped 3 to 4 buses travelling from Ormara to Gwadar on the coastal highway at Buzi Top in the dawn of 18 April 2019 and on the identification of the passengers, shot down 14 personnel belonging to the Armed Forces of Pakistan. ''BRAS'' which is the alliance of three Baloch terrorist organisations have claimed responsibility for this terrorist act. After the incident, the terrorists who arrived from border region returned to that area."

Pakistan, the letter, pointed out, "has repeatedly shared intelligence about these activities. The information about the hubs of these Baloch terrorist organisations in Iran, having training camps and logistics bases across the border, was shared with Iranian intelligence in the recent past, and on a number of occasions earlier. Unfortunately, no action has been taken by Iran in this regard, to date."

Protesting against the killing of its forces, Pakistan, pleaded with Iran to act against the Baloch groups based in Iran, whose locations it had identified several times.

Anonymous said...

Salam. Could you provide sources for good reads on the internal politics in iran as you mentioned was going on, especially between the general and the rest?

samir sardana said...

The Ukranian plane crash stinks !

As soon as the Iranian BM were in the air – the Iranians would and should have closed their airspace ! Why did
not do it ? It takes a second.

That the Ukranian plane veered to the IRG HQ near the airport,or that the radar or transponder pods,on the plane were off or put off – is all bullshit.The Iranian ADS would know all the commercial flight schedules of the day,and would also know the RCS of a Boeing,and the time of its takeoff.dindooohindoo

Even if the Americans jets were to make a raid into Iran – the ADS at the land border,would pick them up and the jets would fly at 20-25000 feet.The Ukranian plane was at take off stage -less than 10000 feet.How could the Iranian ADS at Tehran,assume that the projectile was a Cruise Missile – at low altitude ?

American jets were in the air in Iraq even before the BM launch by Iran – and must have been tracked by the Iranian ADS and Radars.

Not 1 American Killed in the Ukranian Flight ! Not 1 EU killed in the flight ! 90% were Iranians ! That is why the Iranians came out on the streets – AS IRANIANS WERE KILLED ON THE FLIGHT !

Ain’t no coincidence ! It is the Americans who might have jammed the communications between the flight and
the Iranian ADS – and also jammed the Iranian ADS – to cause the Iranian Hit ! The aim was to discredit the IRG and the Iranian Elite – by making the Persians kill Persians on Persian Soil – blowing the myths around the Quds,Basij, IRG and the clergy – and start a Tahrir !

There can be no other reason ! Americans can jam any Iranian ADS – except the S-400 systems – as also,proven by the IAF raids in Syria – right upto the Syrian Presidential Palace.

Iranians/Russians allow the killing of Soleimani , Miss all the targets in Iraq , Do not close their airspace after launching of BM AND SHOOT DOWN A NATO PLANE FULL OF IRANIANS -with no American or EU casualties !

S-T-I-N-K !

During Indo-Pak conflict in 2019 the Hindoo worms shot their own chopper near the IB.That was due intense radar clutter and noise and EW from both sides of the border.

The Ukranian plane was shot 10000 feet in the air – in TEHRAN,hundreds of miles from the IB with Iraq ! And there is a complete RECORDING by some human on the ground – who was there at the right time and right place. 2 Missiles were fired ! TWO ! The 2nd was to make sure – a MAN behind the MANPAD !

Pingback:

Riaz Haq said...

#Soleimani’s successor is an #Iranian #qudsforce officer with experience in fomenting trouble in #Afghanistan and #Pakistan. #Indian presence in Iranian port of #Chabahar is a threat to Pakistan’s security and strategic interests. #RAW #CPEC #Balochistan https://www.rusi.org/commentary/death-qassem-soleimani-what-expect-afghanistan-and-pakistan#.XiyKHgdEYig.twitter


Iran has traditionally supported and held stronger ties with the ethnic Hazara Shia community in Afghanistan. As the Hazaras suffered severe persecution during the Taliban days, they found a natural patron in Iran. Iran also exercised influence over Tajiks in Afghanistan, particularly in the western province of Herat which borders Iran. But the most spectacular aspect of this Iranian engagement was their courting of the Afghan Taliban who resurrected themselves as a powerful insurgent force challenging the authority of the Afghan government and NATO troops across the length and breadth of the country.

Recently disclosed pictures circulating in the Afghan media suggest that General Qaani was operating as the deputy ambassador of Iran to Afghanistan as late as 2018, a story which only emphasises his prime role in managing Iran’s Afghan policy. This does nothing to improve Iran’s relationship with Pakistan, which maintained strong links with the Taliban leadership and considered this incursion by the Iranians as an effort to weaken its hand within Afghanistan.

IRAN–PAKISTAN: A HISTORY OF TENSIONS
If Iranian manoeuvres in Afghanistan raised eyebrows in Islamabad, developments on the Iran–Pakistan border further weakened the bilateral relationship. The 2016 capture of the alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav, who entered Pakistan from Iran, was an eye-opener for Pakistan’s security establishment. The episode meant that the Pakistan–Iran border could not be considered a safe zone anymore, and the alleged Indian presence in the Iranian port of Chabahar was a potential threat to Pakistan’s security and strategic interests. It is highly unlikely that the Quds Force was unaware of these activities. Pakistan lodged a strong protest against this development with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and demanded that Iran was not used as a launch pad for actions against Pakistani national interests.

As Iran–Pakistan relations soured following the Kulbhushan affair, another issue involving the Quds Force came up on the radar of Pakistan’s security circles. This was the recruitment of Pakistani Shias to fight for the Bashar Al-Assad regime in the Syrian civil war. These fighters were grouped under a militia named Liwa Al-Zainabiyoun (or the Zainabiyoun Brigade). General Qaani was a central figure in this recruitment drive in Pakistan. The Pakistani authorities eventually clamped down on a charity organisation that was used as a front group for these activities.

Yet another episode where the Quds Force and the Pakistani authorities had a face-off was the border security situation across the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan and Pakistani Balochistan. The Jundullah, a Sunni Baloch separatist organisation, had waged a low-intensity insurgency within Sistan-Baluchestan, and although Pakistan helped Iran in apprehending its chief, Abdolmalek Regi, the bilateral distrust on the issue never went away. The deaths of 27 IRGC troops in an attack on their bus near the border town of Zahedan in early 2019 prompted a severe response from Iranian authorities. Soleimani cautioned the Pakistani government to stop cross-border terror attacks from its territory and vowed a strong response from Iran if significant progress hasn’t been made by Pakistan on the issue.

Riaz Haq said...

#Iran Buries 21 #Afghan, #Pakistani #Shia Proxy Fighters Killed In #Syria clashes in #Idlib. #Hezbollah also lost 8-14 fighters. 18 Pakistani Shiite fighters of Zeynabyoun Brigade and 3 members of Afghan Shiite Fatemyoun Brigade were buried in #Qom. https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-buries-21-afghan-pakistani-proxy-fighters-killed-in-syria/30462791.html

In intense clashes taking place in Syria’s Idlib province in recent days 21 members of Iran-backed Afghan and Pakistani militias were killed, Qom News an Iranian website has reported.

The report says 18 members of Pakistani Shiite fighters of Zeynabyoun Brigate and three members of Afghan Shiite Fatemyoun Brigade died in battles.

As Iran became deeply involved in the Syrian civil war it organized proxy forces to do the dangerous ground fighting, while Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) officers and advisers largely provided command and support to a variety of forces.

The burial ceremony of those killed took place on Sunday, March 1 in Iran’s holy city of Qom.

Forces loyal to Syria’s strongman Bashar Assad intensified their attacks on Idlib in recent weeks to defeat rebel forces and take back control. Turkey, which provides support, including diplomatic backing to Syrian rebels intervened to defend a disengagement line agreed with Russia and Assad in 2018.

An air attack, which killed scores of Turkish forces on February 27, led to military retaliation by Ankara against pro-Assad forces, possibly including Iran-backed fighters.

Iran’s ally Hezbollah also lost 8-14 fighters on Friday, based on different estimates, and thousands gathered in Beirut for their burial on Sunday.

Turkey downed two Syrian fighter jets on Sunday as it continued attacks on pro-Syrian forces. However, Ankara reiterated that it has no desire to confront Russian forces in Syria.