Ayatollah Khamenei: Balance tipped in Islam’s favor, Zionist enemy in decline

Friday, 07 May 2021 10:12 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 07 May 2021 10:58 AM ]1

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US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ayatollah Khamenei delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Leader.ir)

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has marked the International Quds Day, saying Israel is not a country but a terrorist base against the people of Palestine and other Muslim nations.

“Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations,” the Leader said on Friday.

“Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility,” Ayatollah Khamenei added. 

The Leader voiced confidence that the downward movement of the Zionist regime has already started and “it will never stop”.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively.

He said the policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism “have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.”

The following is the full text of Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his pure and immaculate household, upon his chosen companions and upon those who follow them until the Day of Judgment.

Palestine is the most important issue for the Islamic Ummah

The issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively. The policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.

The logic behind the establishment of the Zionist regime

Can one find a logic weaker and shakier than that of the establishment of the Zionist regime? On the basis of their claim, the Europeans oppressed the Jews during the Second World War, therefore they believe that the oppression against the Jews should be revenged by displacing a nation in West Asia and by committing a horrible massacre in that country!

This is the logic which western governments have relied on with their wholehearted and blind support for the Zionist regime, thereby disproving all their false claims about human rights and democracy. It has been 70 years now that they have been sticking with this laughable and at the same time tragic story and every now and then, they add a new chapter to it.

Fighting against the Zionist regime is a collective responsibility

Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations. Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility.

Weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah prepared the ground for the usurpation of Palestine

Another noteworthy point is that although that the usurping regime was established in 1948, the ground for occupying that sensitive Islamic region had been prepared years before that. Those specific years coincided with the active interference of westerners in Islamic countries with the purpose of establishing secularism and excessive and blind nationalism and also with the goal of installing despotic governments who were infatuated with or controlled by the West.

Studying those events in Iran, Turkey and Arab countries stretching from West Asia to North Africa reveals this bitter truth that weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah paved the way for the disastrous usurpation of Palestine, allowing the world of arrogance to deliver that blow to the Islamic Ummah.

Westerners and Easterners colluding with one another over the matter of usurping Palestine

It is instructive that at that time, the capitalism and communism camps colluded with the rich Zionists. It was the English who masterminded the plot and who persisted in it and then, Zionist capitalists executed it with their money and weapons. The Soviet Union too was one of the first governments that officially recognized the establishment of that illegitimate regime and later on dispatched a large number of Jews to that area.

The usurping regime was actually an outcome of that situation in the world of Islam on the one hand, and of a European plot, invasion and transgression, on the other.

In the present time, the balance has been tipped in favor of the world of Islam

Today, the situation in the world is not like those days. We should keep this reality within sight. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the world of Islam. Various political and social incidents in Europe and in the United States have laid bare the weaknesses and the deep structural, managerial and moral conflicts among westerners. The electoral events in the US and the notoriously scandalous failures of the hubristic and arrogant managers in that country, the unsuccessful one-year fight against the pandemic in the US and Europe and the embarrassing incidents that ensued, and also the recent political and social instabilities in the most important European countries are all signs of the downward movement of the western camp.

On the other hand, the growth of the Resistance forces in the most sensitive Islamic regions, the development of their defensive and offensive capabilities, their growth of self-awareness, motivation and hope in Muslim nations, the increasing tendency to follow Islamic and Quranic slogans and the growth of independence and self-reliance in nations are auspicious signs of a better future.

The necessity for Muslim countries to cooperate with one another on the pivot of Palestine and Quds

In this auspicious future, cooperation between Muslim countries should be a main and fundamental goal and this does not seem unlikely. The pivot around which this cooperation turns is the issue of Palestine–the entirety of that country–and the fate of Holy Quds. This is the same truth that guided the enlightened heart of the great Imam Khomeini (may God bestow mercy upon him) towards the announcement of International Quds Day on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Cooperation between Muslims around the pivot of Holy Quds is an absolute nightmare for the Zionists and for their American and European advocates. The failed project called “The Deal of the Century” and the effort to normalize the relations between a few weak Arab governments and the Zionist regime were desperate attempts to run away from that nightmare.

I tell you with confidence: These attempts will not get them anywhere. The downward movement of the Zionist enemy has started and it will not stop moving downward.

The decisive factors in the future: The continued activities of the Resistance in the occupied lands and Muslims’ support for the Palestinian mujahids

There are two determining factors in the future: First and foremost is the continued activities of resistance in the Palestinian lands and the strengthening of the line of jihad and martyrdom and second, global support, on the part of governments and Muslim nations throughout the world, for the Palestinian mujahids.

All of us–government officials, intellectuals, religious scholars, political parties and groups, the brave youths and people of various social backgrounds–should determine our position in this public movement and play our part.

This is what nullifies the enemy’s plots and it will be a millennial manifestation of this ayah: “Or do they intend a plot? But those who defy Allah are themselves involved in a plot” [The Holy Quran, 52: 42], and “And Allah has full power and control over His affairs, but most among mankind do not know” [The Holy Quran, 12: 21].

I also wish to address the Arab youth in their own language…

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Greetings be upon all liberated individuals in the Arab world, in particular Arab youth, and greetings be upon the resistant people of Palestine and Quds and the defenders in Masjid al-Aqsa.

Greetings be upon the martyrs of Resistance and the large number of the mujahids who laid down their lives on this path, in particular martyr Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, martyr Sayyid Abbas Musawi, martyr Fathi Shaqaqi, martyr Imad Moughniyah, martyr Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, martyr Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis and finally, the most prominent personality among the martyrs of Resistance, martyr Qassem Soleimani. Even after their fruitful and blessed life, with their martyrdom, each of these personalities exerted a deep impact on the Resistance.

The endeavors of Palestinians and the pure blood of the Resistance martyrs have managed to hold up this auspicious flag and to increase the internal power of Palestinian jihad by a hundred times. One day, the Palestinian youth used to defend themselves by throwing stones, but today, they respond to enemy attacks with precision missiles.

Palestine and Quds has been described in the Holy Quran as the “Holy Land”. It has been tens of years now that the most impure and malicious human beings have been occupying this pure land: they are devils who massacre honorable human beings and then they confess to it with complete shamelessness. They are racists who have been harassing, for more than 70 years, the main owners of the land by murdering, looting, imprisoning and torturing them, but, thank God, they have not been able to break their willpower.

Palestine is alive and it continues to resist and it will finally overcome the malicious enemy with God’s assistance. Holy Quds and the entire Palestine belongs to those people [the Palestinians] and they will regain its possession again: “Nor is that for Allah any great matter.” [The Holy Quran, 14:20].

All Muslim governments and nations are responsible towards Palestine, but the Palestinians themselves are the pivot of the jihad and their population reaches about 14 million people inside and outside the land. The unity and the unanimous willpower of those people will work wonders.

Today, unity is the biggest weapon for the Palestinians

The enemies of Palestinian unity are the Zionist regime, the US and some other political powers, but if unity is not shattered from inside the Palestinian society itself, the extrinsic enemies will not be able to do anything.

The pivot of this unity should be national jihad and lack of trust in the enemies. The main enemies of the Palestinians-the US, England and vicious Zionists-should not be used as a source of support for Palestinian politics.

All Palestinians–including the Palestinians in Gaza, in Quds, in the West Bank, in 1948 lands and even the ones living in refugee camps–form a single unit and they should adopt the strategy of coalescence. Every part should defend another part and when under pressure, they should utilize the tools at their disposal.

Today, hope of achieving victory is stronger than ever. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the Palestinians. The Zionist enemy has become weaker year after year while its army, which used to describe itself as “the army which will never be defeated”, has turned into “an army which will never taste victory” after its debacle in the 33-day war in Lebanon and its experiences in 22-day and 8-day wars. As for its political condition, it has been forced to hold four elections in the space of two years. In terms of security as well, it continuously tastes defeat. Moreover, the increasing desire among Jews to emigrate from that country has become a source of embarrassment for that overconfident regime. Its serious endeavor to normalize relations with a few Arab countries, with the assistance of the US, is another sign of the decline of that regime. Of course, this will not help that regime in any way either. Tens of years ago, it established relations with Egypt, but since then, it has become much weaker and much more vulnerable. Therefore, will the normalization of relations with a few weak and small countries be able to help that regime? Of course, those countries will not benefit from the relations either, as the Zionist regime will transgress against their properties and their land and it will promote corruption and insecurity in their countries.

Of course, these truths should not make others forget about their heavy duty. Muslim and Christian ulama should announce the act of normalization as haraam from a religious perspective and intellectuals and liberated individuals should explain to everyone the results of this treachery, which is a stab in the back of Palestine.

Contrary to the downward movement of the regime, an increase in the capabilities of the camp of Resistance is a sign of a bright future: An increase in defensive and military power, self-sufficiency in building effective weapons, the self-confidence of mujahids, the increasing awareness of youth, the extension of the Resistance circle to the entire country of Palestine and beyond, the recent uprising of youth in defending Masjid al-Aqsa and the simultaneous promotion of the Palestinian nation’s spirit of jihad and innocence among public opinion in many parts of the world.

The logic behind the Palestinian cause, which has been registered in the United Nations documents, is a progressive and attractive logic. Palestinian warriors can bring up the idea of holding a referendum with the participation of the main inhabitants of Palestine. The referendum will determine the political system of the country and the main inhabitants, including the displaced Palestinians, no matter what their ethnicity and religion are, will participate in it. That political system will bring back the displaced [Palestinians] and will determine the fate of the foreigners inhabiting there.

This demand is based on the common democracy accepted in the whole world and no one can question its progressiveness.

The Palestinian fighters should continue their legitimate and moral fight against the usurping regime until it is forced to give in to this demand.

Move forward in the Name of God and know that: “Allah will certainly aid those who aid His cause” [The Holy Quran, 22: 40].

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy


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Non-Prophylactically Ironic Dome over the Occupied Palestine

Non-Prophylactically Ironic Dome over the Occupied Palestine

April 25, 2021

By Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

Exactly at 1:20 am (Tehran time) on Thursday, April 22, 2021 a missile hit near Dimona nuclear reactor, the “secret” nuclear site in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Jerusalem Post headlined the event as “Syrian missile lands near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception fails.”[1] The article went on to story the event as follows:

“It was unclear at first from where the missile was launched. Several signs indicated it having been launched from Iraq, while according to other reports, it came from the city of Daraa in southern Syria following an Israeli airstrike.”

“IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters that ‘the explosion was due to the firing of an SA-5 surface-to-air missile toward Israel from Syria that exploded in the southern Negev. The firing of the missile came during Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria,’ Zilberman said, and that ‘it was an errant missile and not directed toward the Dimona nuclear reactor.’”

It was not an errant missile. It did not come from where the General said it came. It was not during Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria. The interception did not fail because there was interception. The missile was directed toward exactly where it needed to hit near Dimona nuclear reactor and it hit exactly at 1:20 am the time Sardar Soleimani, the martyred commander of Qods Force was assassinated. The hit had a message.

The missile strike (not “landing” as if it were some civilian passenger airline) on the land in the vicinity of Dimona took place 22 hours after another serious explosion that happened inside Tomer factory which develops and manufactures military equipment including missiles for Israeli Defense. About Tomer, Haaretz reported:

“The explosion occurred during a ‘routine test’ by the Tomer factory for advanced weapons, which develops rocket engines, the Ofek satellite launchers and houses various types of missiles. In response to the blast, Tomer said ‘this was a controlled test with no exceptional circumstances.’ Tomer’s factory is located in central Israel, and in proximity to residential areas. The company manufactures missiles for use by the IDF and other Israeli defense systems. They are the manufacturers behind Israel’s Arrow 4 missile interception system.”[2]

Again, no. The explosion did not occur during a routine test and it was not a controlled test. The explosion was in fact controlled but not by any force friendly to Tomer, the Zionist entity, or IDF. That explosion, too, had a message. On Tuesday, April 20, in a public speech delivered during funeral procession held for Sardar Hejazi, the vice commander of Qods Force, Sardar Qa’ani, the current Commander of Qods Force (replacing Sardar Soleimani after his martyrdom) clearly and unambiguously declared:

“Today, in the resistance fronts from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and the Children of Resistance [informal term that refers to all resistance fighters] every single day, delivers one major operation against the enemies including [US] America and Israel and they will continue this path until the global command has been achieved.”[3]

This statement was not a threat nor a warning nor a promise by Sardar Qa’ani. It was a declaration. The news vice commander of Qods Force, who was appointed after the martyrdom of Sardar Hejazi, announced on Thursday, April 22:

“The usurper Zionist regime must know that the resistance group in every segment of the planet earth are positioned right next to you and are getting you closer to your dusk.”[4]

In an interview conducted by Tasnim News Agency on Friday, April 23, with Hadi Qabisi, the director of Al-Ittihad Center for Development and Research, regarding recent explosions in Israel, he explained:

“The rules of engagement in the framework of the Resistance in terms of their demand and direction has changed. This now affects the change in balance in the region if the Resistance decides to go to war.”

“Mere shooting of missile from Syria to the occupied territories and reaching of that missile to Naqab region, regardless of what kind of missile whether it was air-to-air or surface-to-air or surface-to-surface, makes evident the inability of Israel defense system dubbed Iron Dome. This shows the erosion of Zionist Regime’s deterrence power while the capabilities of the Resistance Axis are increasing day by day. The consequence has a negative impact on all aspects of Zionist Regime. In addition, this military development cannot be separated from other events in the region such as Iran’s capability and power to strengthen its position in Vienna talks or an increasing tension between two global poles ([US] America and Russia) in other critical scenes such as Ukraine.”[5]

On Sunday, April 25, 2021, Major General Muhammad Baqeri, the Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces, said:

“The Zionists think they could permanently target Syrian soil, create mischief in other places and in the sea without backlash. For certain, several operations in recent days and operations that are forthcoming will have a sobering effect on them and the future of the Resistance is quite bright. We will not announce anything about who exactly is doing which operation but responses from the Resistance camp to Zionists are quite significant. We will not specify the operation but Zionist regime will not be in peace.”[6]

On April 22, 2021, a letter signed by two members of the congressmen, Ted Deutch and Michael T. McCaul, and co-signed by nearly 300 other members, urged the full funding of security assistance to Israel in the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills. An excerpt from the letter reads:

“Israel continues to face direct threats from Iran and its terrorist proxies. In February, an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman was hit by a mysterious explosion that Israel has attributed as an attack by Iran. In 2019, Hizballah launched three anti-tank missiles at an Israeli Defense Forces vehicle in Israel. Hizballah is estimated to have an arsenal of over 130,000 rockets and missiles, and is believed to be developing new precision-guided munitions to be deployed in Lebanon. American security assistance to Israel helps counter these threats, and our rock-solid security partnership serves as a deterrent against even more significant attacks on our shared interests.”

“Congress is committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge and its ability to defend itself, by itself, against persistent threats. Our aid to Israel is a vital and cost-effective expenditure which advances important U.S. national security interests in a highly challenging region.”[7]

Regarding maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge”, firstly, maintenance is for that which already exists. The famed prophylactic dome is engineered to emulate eyed Swiss cheese and can protect Israel exactly as much as it has done for Saudi Arabia and US bases in Iraq and Persian Gulf oil well states with flag. Secondly, the cost of maintaining illusions in West Asia has decidedly increased exponentially for the United States of America and its most cherished regimes.

References

[1] Anna Ahronheim, Udi Shaham. “Syrian missile lands near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception fails.” The Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2021. Accessed online at: https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/alarms-sound-in-south-of-israel-665953

[2] Yaniv Kubovich. Powerful Explosion Rocks Sensitive Israeli Missile Factory During Test. April 21, 2021. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/powerful-explosion-rocks-sensitive-israeli-defense-factory-during-test-1.9732074

[3] Khabar Online. “Unambiguous Message of Sardar Qa’ani to Israel and [US of] America during funeral procession of Sardar Hejazi.” Farvardin 31, 1400 [April 20, 2021] @11:14 am. News Code: 506836. Accessed online at: khabaronline.ir/news/1506836

[4] Tasnim News Agency. “Sardar Fallahzadeh, Vice Commander of Quds Force: Resistance Groups are positioned right next to Zionist Regimes Bases.” Ordibehesht 2, 1400 [April 22, 2021] @ 11:02 am. Accessed online at https://tn.ai/2489397

[5] Tasnim News Agency. “Interview with Syrian Analyst: Zionist Regime’s Deterrent Capabilities are wearing out day by day.” Ordibehesht 3, 1400 [April 23, 2021] @ 21:03. Accessed online at: https://tn.ai/2490197

[6] Tasnim News Agency. “Major General Baqeri: Future Operations will bring the Zionists to their senses.” Ordibehesht 5, 1400 [April 23, 2021] @ 10:45. Accessed online at: https://tn.ai/2491070

[7] “Letter Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger” addressed to Congress of the United States, Washington DC. Accessed online at: https://teddeutch.house.gov site.

US Phony War on ISIS and Other Jihadist Groups it Created and Supports

April 4, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

ISIS, al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra spinoffs, and likeminded jihadist groups are US created and supported monsters.

They’re used by the Pentagon and CIA as proxy foot soldiers to advance diabolical US imperial interests.

Recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed, they’re deployed by US dark forces to Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere to commit atrocities that include CW attacks on defenseless civilians —wrongfully blamed on governments Washington wants replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes it controls.

The US replenishes the ranks of these groups with new recruits.

There’s no shortage of them around in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, as well as in the Indo/Pacific and elsewhere.

Time and again, US officials perpetuate the myth of wanting these elements eliminated — while seeking new recruits to replace ones killed in battle by Russian airpower and militaries of targeted nations.

Serial liar Trump defied reality, falsely claiming his regime eliminated “100% of the caliphate…in Iraq and Syria (sic).”

In January 2020, Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy head Hashed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were martyred by Pentagon assassins for successfully combatting the scourge of US supported ISIS. 

According to Pentagon connected Military.com and Navy Times propaganda on Friday, the USS USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group began so-called Operation Inherent Resolve flight operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq (sic).

Throughout US post-9/11 Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa wars of aggression against invented enemies, US air, ground and naval operations supported and continue supporting ISIS and likeminded jihadist groups.

It’s what the Eisenhower strike group and US 6th fleet are engaged in now.

Their operations have nothing to do with “provid(ing) a wide range of options to our nation and allies in deterring adversarial aggression and disruption of maritime security and regional stability” — as a navy press release falsely claimed.

Ongoing operations are all about advancing US imperial interests by waging endless preemptive wars on invented enemies.

In Syria, Russian and Assad government aerial operations alone are combatting the scourge of US supported ISIS and other jihadist groups.

Days earlier, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov said US ruling regimes use ISIS and likeminded jihadists to prevent conflict resolution in Syria.

Days earlier, the Pentagon and CIA reportedly transported dozens of ISIS fighters to locations in Syria where they want them used to attack government forces and civilians.

While government troops — greatly aided by Russian airpower — liberated most Syrian territory, US and Turkish forces illegally occupy northern parts of the country.

The Pentagon and CIA infest parts of its south, and pockets of ISIS jihadists show up wherever their US handlers deploy them.

US supported Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an al-Qaeda offshoot, operates in Syria’s Idlib province.

Southfront called HTS “a brutal, radical terrorist group,” adding:

A leaked video showed the group “training children for combat in Greater Idlib.”

Aiding its ruthlessness, US Public Broadcasting (PBS), one of its many propaganda arms, interviewed HTS leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani.

Giving him air time on US national television showed virtual PBS support for the jihadist group in cahoots with the Biden regime.

US hot wars rage endlessly in multiple theaters, using ISIS and other jihadist proxies.

Phony US claims about military operations against ISIS and other jihadists divert attention from its support for these cutthroat killers.

They say that great myths die hard

They say that great myths die hard …

February 28, 2021

By The Ister for the Saker Blog

They say that great myths die hard, but as it fades into obscurity will anyone really miss the Saudi state?

Because the Kingdom’s cosmopolitan elite longed to be like the West, they imported European sports cars and erected enormous skyrises using slave labor. Riyadh and Jeddah transformed into shopping centers and hubs of oligarchic largesse while the oil-rich sheiks appeased the conservative populace by sanctioning Wahhabist doctrine, public beatings and beheadings, and other backwards symbolic gestures.

Saudi Arabia is essentially based on this great contradiction: posturing itself as the hardline leader of the Islamic world while aligning with America and carrying out a foreign policy that has killed countless Muslims, a contradiction that exists because it is an artificial construct of imperialism.

In the early 1900s, British spies in the Middle East sought to partition off Ottoman claims in the Arab Peninsula with the help of Arab rebels such as Emir Faisal. These spies who included Edmund Allenby and the famous T E Lawrence led the Arab Revolt of 1916 and successfully revoked Ottoman control of the region.

A little-known fact is that Israel and Saudi Arabia share this same point of origin. In December of 1918 after the success of the Arab Revolt, Lord Walter Rothschild held a banquet for Emir Faisal culminating in the signing of the Faisal-Weizmann agreement, used to demonstrate Arab support for the Balfour Declaration: the document that laid the foundation for the state of Israel. The rebels who had been promised a unified Arab state stretching from Aden to Aleppo had been lied to however, as the leaked Sykes Picot agreement revealed a plot by imperial powers to divide and conquer the Middle East along sectarian lines.

Today the pan-Arab doctrine of the government of Bashar al-Assad is the ideological progenitor of those early rebels who fought to unite the Arab world against the wishes of imperialists. The stoking of the Syrian Civil War was just an extension of century-old divide and conquer tactics, as the West sought to enrage Sunnis against the secular Syrian Arab government for the betterment of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and Israel. Recall too that neo-Ottoman Turkey is aware of the imperial history and sees Syria as Ottoman territory lost to the West.

If the Syrian revolution ever had a grassroots base it was in the impoverished Sunni Idlib governorate, where Turkey and Saudi Arabia had for decades financed Salafist mosques and imams with the intention of eventually breaking this region off from Syria. Although the remaining terrorists in Idlib have yet to be defeated, Saudi Arabia’s failure to achieve full regime change in the Syrian Civil War marks its waning power: previously both Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein spoke out in favor of pan-Arabism and denounced the Saudis at the cost of their lives. Unlike the ideological and religious bonds that tie America and Israel, America’s commitment to Saudi Arabia was always strategically contingent and several developments suggest that it is declining.

America has abandoned support for the war in Yemen

The war against the Houthi movement in Yemen has been fought with a threefold strategy: sanctions to starve the Yemeni population, targeted assassinations to kill Shia imams and others tied to the Houthis, and traditional military force by Saudi conscripts. The Kingdom’s force has performed poorly and relied heavily on support from America. In one case in 2019, the Saudis were planning an attack in the disputed town of Najran in retaliation for missile strikes on Riyadh oil facilities. They were baited into a trap and over 2,500 were captured by Houthi forces. In blind retaliation, they struck a Houthi prison in Yemen and killed over 290 of their own prisoners.

It is no surprise in such conditions that morale is low among the Kingdom’s soldiers and that Iran has supported the Houthi side with weapons and intelligence.

Why has America abandoned its ally in the conflict? Simply, we don’t need Saudi oil as much anymore. Shale gas technology completely changed the nature of the global oil and gas industry and broke the Saudi monopoly. Recall my article The Empire is Losing the Energy War. Since then, more confirmation of this thesis has come around as prices have risen – beneficial to Russia, and oil experts have broadly agreed that Russia has won the most recent price war with the Saudis. America’s withdrawal in Yemen is an acknowledgement of their diminishing role and a reason which under Trump’s “Middle East Peace Plan” Saudi Arabia panickedly sought to tie its future not to oil production but to the creation of a joint security bloc against Iran.

Pipeline developments: NordStream 2 and Goreh Jask

By mid-2020, two major new pipelines are expected to be built. The first is the NordStream 2, which will cement Russia’s control of European energy markets. Washington is moving in slow motion to try and stop this pipeline but it is basically already done. Only 100 miles of pipe remain and the Biden admin’s early smackdown of the American energy industry with the Keystone XL cancellation means that there will not be enough American gas to provide an alternative to Russia. The German public retains a dislike for Russia but the industrialists have pushed ahead regardless.

NordStream 2 serves two other geopolitical purposes. First, Ukraine will be deprived of $1-2 billion of energy transit revenue, a big deal for a country with a $150 billion GDP. This also lowers NATO’s interest in Ukraine, which will suddenly have less of an ability to bottleneck Russian energy shipments to Europe. Second, the pipeline also reduces Russia’s exposure to Turkey as an energy transit and will allow Russia to be more “gloves off” in northern Syria without risking economic retaliation.

Iran’s Goreh Jask pipeline is expected to be completed by June 2021, and the development will improve the country’s energy situation by limiting its reliance on the Strait of Hormuz and opening up Southeast Asian markets to Iranian oil. In addition to promoting economic ties with the rest of Asia the move also allows Iran to potentially shut off the Strait of Hormuz in a crisis situation, a hypothetical move which never made sense in the past given that it would kill its own energy exports. Naturally, sanctions have been applied to the project but this has simply been used as an opportunity to develop domestic industrial capacity: over 95% of the parts for the Goreh Jask pipeline have been sourced domestically.

Iran is increasing its influence in Iraq and Syria

The increased Iranian influence on Iraq suggests that supporting the overthrow of Saddam Hussein may have been a miscalculation by the Western bloc. The government of Hussein was aggressive on Iran-Iraq border issues and had a large and powerful military. With Iraq’s expensive military infrastructure largely destroyed and a diminished American presence, Iran has grown its soft power both through religious and economic outreach.

In southeastern Iraq, Iran is massively expanding and developing Shia shrines at sites like Kerbala as a method of promoting its influence. Some of these developments are enormous, for example the $600 million expansion of the Imam Hussein shrine, which was mostly constructed with Iranian funds and parts. These developments also give economic opportunity to both Shia and Sunni Iraqis who are paid to work in construction and benefit from increased tourism. Conducting business in eastern Iraq also gives Iran an opportunity to transact in a region unaffected by sanctions.

Political power is another way that Iran has expanded its reach. The prime minister of Iraq is aligned with the Saudis and Americans but outnumbered in parliament by pro-Iranian MPs, and has been able to do little to diminish the Iranian presence.

As far as Syria, the Iranian angle must be considered. In July of 2015, Quds force General Qasem Soleimani visited Moscow to work out the details of the Russian intervention with Vladimir Putin. Although Moscow denies this likely to maintain good relations with Israel, Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah recently stated that it was Soleimani that convinced Putin to enter the conflict. What was exchanged during that conversation in July of 2015? It is impossible to know but it can be reasonably assumed based on how things unfolded that the Russian intervention was largely a cover for Iranian movement into Syria.

The majority of the leg work performed in the Syrian Civil War was done by Syrians and Iranians. While Russia provided crucial air support and logistics, the on-the-ground troop counts have remained small. What Russian intervention did however was to provide the stamp of legitimacy of a powerful, nuclear armed nation to the Syrian/Iranian side, to prevent any major invasion, and to quickly soften the tones on the Assad government. By clearing ISIS out of central Syria, Iran has now created a contiguous path through Syria and Lebanon and upheld its Syrian ally at the expense of the Saudis.

Pakistan is drifting to Iran

In recent history Pakistan has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia, in part due to a Sunni majority and a large amount of outstanding loans financed by the Kingdom. As Sheikh Imran Hosein put it unflatteringly, Pakistan has served as “a shoeshine boy for the Saudis.” Several wedges are growing between this strong historical relationship.

First, Pakistan is warming to its neighbor Iran and the new prime minister of Pakistan has accelerated ties with its western neighbor in many areas. One is the accelerated development of a massive Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad railway which highlights an emerging challenge to Saudi supremacy: the nascent Turkey/Iran/Malaysia/Qatar bloc in the Muslim world could potentially expand to include Pakistan. Keeping Pakistan away from Iran has long been an intention of the Saudis, who sought to fuel tensions with their neighbor by financing anti-Shia terrorism in Pakistan in the 80s and 90s. Nevertheless, the two countries seem to be getting over it and the populations of both nations rate each other positively in opinion polling.

Another sign of nervousness in the West about Pakistan-Iranian integration is the failed attempt to stop the construction of the new Iran-Pakistan oil pipeline with threats of sanctions. This will further pull Pakistan into the Iranian orbit.

A new major straining factor on the relationship with Saudi Arabia is Riyadh’s unwillingness to defend Pakistan’s claims to the disputed Kashmir border region. Pakistan has hoped that the Kingdom would defend its claim, but Saudi Arabia has been unwilling to do so.

Finally, there is the issue of Israel. Saudi Arabia would like to recognize Israel as soon as possible but doing so would cause massive protests in Pakistan and ruin the Saudi reputation there. Therefore it is trying to pressure Pakistan to first recognize Israel, something which would be unpopular and put the Pakistani government in a precarious situation domestically.

The Saudis are losing their status as the head of the Muslim world

Consider the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan’s recent comments while promoting the D-8 organization of Islamic nations:

“Countries like Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Russia and China have the potential to form a new alliance for better future of the region”

None of this economic integration would be occurring if not for the US sanctions policy. The impact of sanctions has been to lay the groundwork for creation of a “Zone B” which circumvents the Empire entirely. A model that replaces proxy wars, regime change, and terrorist funding with peaceful economic integration and diplomacy. If Iran had full access to international markets it would have been content to sell its exports to the highest bidder and would not be forced to expand its influence regionally as it is currently doing.

What does this emerging “Zone B” look like? Well, let’s start with the Muslim countries labeled an “Axis of Evil” by George Bush and John Bolton:

Syria, Iraq, Iran. And of course we can add in Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine right off the bat to this anti-imperial bloc. The growing ties between Sunni Pakistan, heterogeneous Syria, and Shia Iran foreshadow a geographically contiguous model of peaceful relations between Islamic nations untainted by the Takifirism of Saudi Arabia, with Syria and Lebanon serving as a tolerant bridge between the Sunni and Shia regions of the Arab world.

This bloc could then be combined with the D-8 Muslim countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. D-8 alone represents one billion people and over 60% of the Islamic world. Iran, as a major advocate of inter-Islamic integration through organizations such as D-8 would be the lynchpin connecting the resistance nations of the Arab world with the larger emerging Islamic economies in a new trade network to bypass sanctions. (It is worth adding that all D-8 nations other than Turkey supported Syria’s side against Saudi in the civil war, so such an alliance is not much of a stretch by any means.)

Add in China, Russia, Mongolia, Myanmar, and the ‘stans and this new Asian empire would come to span a lion’s share of the planet’s population, GDP, energy resources, and habitable surface area. Moscow and Berlin would emerge as gates between East and West while the sprawling trading network of China would provide an alternative to the overregulated and strings-attached commerce and financing available in the West. China has already replaced America as the major trading partner for most nations.

Though there are other concurrent factors at play, the state of Saudi Arabia which once served as the lynchpin for dividing the Islamic world is diminishing, as Eurasian integration progresses naturally. No color revolutions or regime change are required for this process to continue because:

Zone A’s claims to upholding human rights and other civil liberties increasingly appear like a bad joke: undermined by lockdowns, tech censorship, and politically correct speech codes

Zone B is working past historic rivalries in the pursuit of development while Zone A embraces legally enshrined racism and creates complex taxonomies of privilege to delineate tiers of citizenship

Zone B’s population is growing while Zone A’s is declining

Zone B’s share of global wealth is growing while Zone A’s is declining

Zone B has a burgeoning middle class while Zone A’s middle class is disappearing

Zone B is doing away with extreme politics while Zone A is swept by cultural revolution


The Ister is a researcher of financial markets and geopolitics. Author of The Ister: Escape America

Iran Rejects US Claim for Self-defense in Soleimani Case

Iran Rejects US Claim for Self-defense in Soleimani Case

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations [UN] said the US claim for legitimate self-defense in case of the January 2020 assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani is overwhelmingly rejected.

At the UN Security Council Open Arria Formula Meeting which was held in New York on February 24, Majid Takht Ravanchi called on the world to strongly stand against some countries which misuse “legitimate self-defense” to excuse their illegitimate measures.

The Feb 24 UN meeting focused on ” Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defense.”

“First, the prohibition of the threat or use of force, save the two exceptional cases authorized by the Charter, is one of the greatest accomplishments of our Organization. This is a cardinal principle of international law, the preservation and full observance of which is our collective responsibility that must be fulfilled responsibly,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

“Second, states have intrinsically an obligation to protect their citizens and territories and accordingly, enjoy an inherent right to self-defense. The term “inherent”, clearly and adequately reflects the natural foundations and essential importance of this right, which of course, must be exercised only “if an armed attack occurs”. These are the well-drafted and well-crafted terms of the Charter. Obviously, it must also meet the criteria of necessity, proportionality, and immediacy,” he added.

There is a growing tendency by some states to resort to the threat or use of force through abusing the inherent right to self-defense, the ambassador noted, explaining that when the US forces, at the direct order of their President, brutally assassinated martyr Soleimani in Iraq, in gross violation of the basic norms and principles of international law, the US Government, through its communication to the Security Council President, desperately attempted to justify such an obvious act of terrorism through a series of fabrications and an extremely arbitrary interpretation of the Charter’s Article 51.

“Many international law scholars and practitioners have categorically rejected such an interpretation of the right to self-defense,” Takht -Ravanchi underscored.

Fourth, this alarming trend must be a source of serious concern to all States, and every effort must be made to reverse this extremely dangerous process. If unchecked, the right to self-defense will not only be abused more frequently by such States but also, will institute further exceptions to the principle of the prohibition of the threat or use of force, he added.

Fifth, measures taken in self-defense shall be reported to the Council “immediately”, Iran’s envoy emphasized.

Source

Nasrallah: It was Soleimani-linked groups that drove US Army out of Iraq in 2011

February 14, 2021

Nasrallah – It was groups trained by Soleimani that drove US army out of Iraq in 2011

Description:

In an extensive interview in late 2020, Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah provides a detailed explanation of the identity of the “resistance groups” that he says were responsible for militarily driving the U.S. army out of Iraq in 2011.

Nasrallah explains that the overwhelming majority of the operations carried out on U.S. forces between 2003 and 2011 were carried out not by Al-Qaeda and its likes, but by groups that were supported and trained by Iran’s Qassim Soleimani, groups that today form Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi (or Popular Mobilization Forces).

Source: Al Mayadeen Programs (YouTube)

Date: December 27, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here )

Transcript:

-The host:

Your eminence, how did Hajj Qassim (Soleimani) reach the stage of…as you mentioned earlier, there are two stages: the stage of (the US) occupation (of Iraq), then (came) the stage of Daesh. Can you give us some behind-the-scenes (information about) the role of Hajj Soleimani during the occupation of Iraq that ended with 150,000 US soldiers retreating in such a (cowardly) manner?

– Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah:

(To answer that,) I will go back to the same reasoning, i.e. (we have two stages). The (first) stage is from 2003 to 2011 in Iraq. I’ll call it “The Stage of Resistance against the American Occupation” (in which I’ll mention) the role of Hajj Qassim as well as Hajj Abu Mahdi and the leaders of the (Iraqi) resistance factions and movements. The (second) stage is that of (fighting) Daesh. (The second stage) was at a time when there was no problem if (everything relating to Hajj Qasim’s role) got out to the media. Therefore, everything (relating to Soleimani’s role) was clear for all to see by virtue of his public stances, the supportive public statements, the decision of the Iraqi government, the deployment of the Iraqi army and official forces, the (stance of) religious scholars that was of course in line with the position of (Iraq’s highest) religious authority, (the support of the) tribes and the people, and all that was under the (media) spotlight. Perhaps there is a hidden wisdom and (divine) mercy for (the second stage) to be under the (media) spotlight.

(However,) the entirety of (the first) stage was not only far from the spotlight, it was subject to unjust (coverage). It is good that you brought up this topic so that I elaborate on it. There was an impression at that time that it was al-Qaeda or militant groups – the term “Takfiris” was not common yet – who were fighting the (US) occupation, at a time when other groups supported the US occupation. This, of course, was not true. I assure you that the overwhelming majority of the military operations that were carried out against the US occupation forces in Iraq were carried out by these (Iraqi) resistance factions, which are now known. I will not mention their names so that I don’t name some and forget others. The US is aware of the (role of the resistance groups) because it made arrests and obtained recorded confessions through torture. The US knows these factions very well. It knows their leaderships, their military officials, their fighters, the operations they carried out against the US forces.

-The host: When did the resistance begin?

-Sayyed Nasrallah:

In 2003. The foundations were established in 2003, but the actual operations started in 2004.

-The host: Was Hajj Qassim preparing for the (resistance) before 2003?

-Sayyed Nasrallah:

No, before the US came to Iraq, the option of resistance was not on the table, because resistance is a reaction to the occupation. Before the American occupation of Iraq, there was no resistance to the American occupation of Iraq! The work of the resistance groups (during the US occupation) had evolved to the point that they were filming explosive devices striking (US) tanks and (military) vehicles, and (filming the moments) in which they would set up ambushes, and target American barracks and bases. They then would upload the videos with their names (on the internet). Of course, at some of the stages, there were many names (such as): Imam Ali Brigades, Imam al-Hussein Brigades, Ali al-Akbar Brigades, Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades, etc. Then they decided on a couple of names that are well-known today. I remember at that time we were in contact with those factions of course, and the Americans knew that. I am not revealing a secret.

-The host: You were in contact (with the Iraqi resistance groups) from the start?

-Sayyed Nasrallah:  Of course. They used to complain to us and say that these videos….

-The host:

Excuse me your eminence. Since the United States is aware of the matter, let the public know (as well). When did this contact begin? When did the resistance in Iraq begin? We are talking about this particular resistance. (This topic) is unknown to public opinion. Even I, as a journalist, did not know about this matter for years.

-Sayyed Nasrallah:

It started…well, of course there were some declared positions, and some popular (unorganised) confrontations took place. However, if we are talking about the organised armed resistance, it started with youth groups who were members of different movements. In other words, they didn’t follow one specific path. Of course, they also did not have enough political cover because the country was going through a political process. While a political process was being discussed, there was a resistance movement that was progressing and growing bigger and bigger, (a resistance movement) established by groups of youth who later became a part of its structure. What is the point I was trying to say? When they were filming – these pictures and videos still exist and I suggest that Al Mayadeen brings this whole archive and brings attention to it – what was happening?…

-The host: Give us (the archive).

-Sayyed Nasrallah:

The archive is in the hands of our Iraqi brothers. We can bring it, or we can tell them to give it to you since you ‘mashAllah’ have (well-developed) offices over there (in Iraq). It is raw footage. The tanks, even Abrams tanks (were being destroyed) at the time. The United States was shocked by what was happening. The footage was clear. (The resistance) used to send it to Arab satellite channels, but none of them published it. All Arab satellite channels without exception. Al Jazeera… I mean, Al-Jazeera was covering (news) in Lebanon and Palestine, but it did not cover the operations of these factions in Iraq. However, it covered the operations of the other (Iraqi extremist) groups. I mean when (extremists) sent them videos or CDs, they would publish them; and the same applies to other Arab satellite channels. In Lebanon, there was no television channel that had the courage to cover these operations. (As mentioned in the Quran), “let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice”. Even though there is currently dispute and differences between us and Al Jadeed TV, yet that time, the only television channel, other than Al-Manar TV, that would dare to broadcast these videos was Al-Jadeed TV. Why would (Al Jadeed TV broadcast them)? I do not know. Anyway, there was a massive media blackout of these precise and excellent operations (by the Iraqi resistance factions).

For example, they were committed to avoiding civilian (casualties). They have videos in which the bomb is planted, then an American tank passes by, and by chance a civilian passes by, so they delay the execution (of the operation) for an hour or two until another American tank comes in the absence of civilians, then (the bomb) is detonated. Why? Because it is a (religiously) devout resistance. It is a resistance forged by people of the country who consider civilians their brothers and their (own) families. Therefore, they do not want to kill them, even in the context of resisting the (US) occupation.

This (Iraqi) resistance worked hard until 2011 when the US knew that these groups – who had different names – are the ones responsible for this resistance. They also learned – here we go back to our brother Hajj Qassim – that these resistance groups receive moral, financial, military, arms and training support from the Quds Force and Hajj Qassim Soleimani.

I was hesitant to talk about this in public as it could be considered an evidence (that can be used against Iran). However, (the US) already has a stronger evidence i.e. the people who were arrested and made confessions that included the locations of their training camps and the side who provided them with weapons and funding. The solid evidence (that confirms that the operations were conducted by) the real Iraqi resistance…why am I saying the “real” Iraqi resistance, because Ayman al-Zawahiri would come out and say (his group Al-Qaeda) had carried out 5,000 suicide bombings) in Iraq. Well, let us count how many suicide attacks were carried out against the US in Iraq? The resistance movements that I am talking about did not carry out a single martyrdom operation. They only used bombs, ambushes, missile strikes and so forth. Therefore, (if we are talking about) suicide bombings, we agree that you (al-Qaeda) are responsible for them. Count with me, how many suicide operations were carried out (during this period against the US forces)? 100? 200? Not more. And I am exaggerating when I say 100 or 200. In other words, 4,800 suicide operations (were carried out) against the Iraqi people, whether Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, Turkmen, Christians, in churches and in mosques etc. The truth is, what was happening in Iraq was not a process of ethnic cleansing, but rather human cleansing i.e. killing people left, right and center. However, this (Iran-backed) resistance was a precise, committed, disciplined, and purposeful resistance whose aim was to pressure and exhaust the (US) occupation forces to push them to withdraw.

The real support for this resistance came for the Quds Force and Hajj Qassim Soleimani. Therefore, what I said earlier, and this is what the Iranians said in the media as well, when US-Iraqi negotiations took place to conclude this strategic agreement with Obama on the withdrawal of US forces, who did the US talk to? Of course, the US did not contact them directly, but through intermediaries. But who did it contact? It contacted the Iranians, (notably) the Quds Force (headed by) Hajj Qassim Soleimani. (The US said:) ‘can you please speak with the Iraqi resistance factions and tell them to stop and leave us alone for two or three months until we withdraw without coming under fire?’ Therefore, during this stage of resistance, the resistance was real and serious.

Furthermore, the commander of the US Central Command in the region – a part of his forces are in Iraq – and the leaders of the US army in Iraq have, on more than one occasion, threatened Hajj Qassim Soleimani and the Quds Force with bombing their sites in Iran if they do not stop supporting the Iraqi resistance factions. They even specified targets that included targets in a camp in Karash, which is a camp where resistance fighters from several countries would undergo (military) training. They chose their targets (and said) that we will bomb these specific locations. However, the Islamic Republic (of Iran) did not change its position. As you know anyway, the position of his eminence the (Supreme) Leader Imam Khamenei – may God protect him – and the officials in Iran, was in line with the Iranian official position that was supportive of the Iraqi resistance. I mean, they were not hiding it.

– The host:

Excuse me your eminence, it was not only an assumption.  All the reports at the time stated that Iran is not only supporting the political process, but also interfering in Iraqi affairs just like the US. No one mentioned that Iran was actually supporting the resistance through General Qassim Soleimani…

-Sayyed Nasrallah:

Look, (Iran’s decisions during) the Iraqi experience that took place from 2003 to 2011 was based on an advanced (strategy), as (Iran) took into account the lessons it had derived from the outcomes of all previous experiences. Faced with (the US occupation) of Iraq, a group of (Iraqi) leaders and political groups endorsed political action and the political process, and were against military action and (any form of military) resistance to (the US) occupation. A second group was in favor of military action i.e. resistance. While a third group believed in political, popular and civil resistance, but was against any military action. What did (Iran) use to do in previous experiences? It used to choose and support one party. (However,) this time (during the US occupation of Iraq), the Islamic Republic supported all parties. If you (Iraqis) believe that the political process will restore Iraq’s sovereignty through the constitution, elections, the government, the participation in the government, and negotiations with the US, go ahead, no problem. If you support military action (against the US), rely on God and go ahead. If you support the option of political action and popular civil resistance, go ahead and we have your back. (Why did Iran do that?) Because all these tracks would have led to the same goal, but of course the media only covered the first line of support while the second (i.e. military resistance) was kept in the dark.

——

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General Suleimani, Imad Mughniyeh… Sayyed Nasrallah’s Devoted Comrades in Arms

February 18, 2021

Sayyed Suleimani Mughniyeh

Al-Manar Website Editor

In one of the stories told by General Qassem Suleimani on the 2006 July War in Lebanon, the iconic Iranian commander was about to face death along with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and prominent military commander in the Lebanese Resistance’s group Hajj Imad Mughniyeh.

“Once during the war, I was with Sayyed Nasrallah and Hajj Imad. We were about to face death,” Suleimani said in an interview in October 2019, referring to Mughniyeh, who was assassinated by Israeli Mossad in Damascus in February 12, 2008.

One of the places where the three were residing in during the war, in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh), was no longer safe, as narrated by Suleimani.

After leaving the site, the three men reached a place where they sat under a tree to take rest. Mughniyeh asked Suleimani to protect Sayyed Nasrallah, the Iranian general told the office for preservation and dissemination of the works of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei during the 2019 interview.

“Minutes later, Hajj Imad returned, driving a car. Just few moments after Sayyed Nasrallah and I rode the car, Israeli missiles hit the site,” General Suleimani said.

“Hajj Imad drove the car fast and just in few minutes we reached a remote area. As we realized that we were safe we had one reaction: we started to laugh,” General Suleimani added.

Smiling while narrating the story, General Suleimani concluded it by saying: “Till now, I can’t stop thinking about something that I couldn’t ask Hajj Imad about: Where did the car come from?!”

The interview with General Suleimani was just few months before his martyrdom in January 3, 2020, in a US strike near Baghdad airport. He was martyred along with Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Iraqi ISIS Suicide Terrorist Kills 20 of His Friends by Mistake

 ARABI SOURI 

Iraqi ISIS terrorist blows up his car in his friends

An Iraqi ISIS terrorist blew up his vehicle in his friends in Saladin province killing 20 of them and himself by mistake.

The US-sponsored ISIS terrorist was planning to blow up the booby-trapped car in an Iraqi Federal Police checkpoint in the Jallam district south of Samarra.

Samarra Police Operation Commander said in a statement that 21 of the ISIS terrorists were killed by a booby-trapped car driven by one of them when the latter wanted to farewell his friends and honked the car forgetting the honk button is the detonator of the vehicle.

The Iraqi government has been under pressure from the Iraqi population and the Iraqi MPs to implement the Iraqi Parliament decision to expel US troops from the country which was taken after Donald Trump killed Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani in a long-planned drone and ground attack near Baghdad Airport and the top commander of the Iraqi PMU Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the main force in fighting and defeating ISIS early January last year causing an uproar across the region.

Iraqis, in particular, felt embarrassed having their guest killed in their country and also because of their beloved al-Muhandis by the force that claimed it was protecting them from ISIS and turned out it was protecting ISIS from the Iraqis.

After the repeated calls by the Iraqi government to the US officials to withdraw their troops from Iraq, ISIS operations unsurprisingly increased and became more bold and deadly across Iraq and in Syria as well. Observers are commenting that it looks like ISIS does not want the US troops to leave Iraq and Syria!

Despite their efforts and their ability to eliminate a number of ISIS terrorists in Iraq including leading commanders of the terrorist organization, and also disrupt their operations, the Iraqi security and army are surprised by the sudden increase in the abilities of the terrorist group that was declared defeated just before Donald Trump killed the commanders who defeated it last year.

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Joe Biden Adopts a Trump Approach to Iran

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

An Analysis () by Lawrence Davidson

9 February 2021

Part I—Joe Biden, the Good Stuff

All right! Let’s hear it for Joe Biden! Our new president is leading us in the direction of domestic sanity, and there are even hints of progressive potential in his evolving agenda. Under his leadership, we might soon master the Covid-19 plague and dig ourselves out of our near-depression economic straits. This is terrific!

Some good news when it comes to foreign policy as well. You’ll remember that in Trump’s determination to “make “American great again” (MAGA), the former president decided that international organizations and cooperation were impediments to national greatness. Thus, he systematically withdrew from a number of alignments and also scorned international law. This approach appears to have been part of a MAGA scheme to subvert international order. Its nihilistic undertones were highlighted by the creepy leaders who seemed to warm Trump’s heart. He found men such as the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, along with a long list of dictators ranging from Rodrigo Duterte in Philippines to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inEgypt, to be really congenial. There was also Trump’s warm admiration for the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. 

President Biden has saved us from this sort of delinquency. He is now operating under new and saner marching orders: “diplomacy is back” and multilateralism is in. The U.S. has recommitted to the international effort to slow down global warming and has rejoined the World Health Organization. Biden has ended all participation in the immoral Yemen civil war and, so it is reported, told the Russians to keep their invasive cyber-fingers to themselves. 

At this point you might have the urge to celebrate what appears to be a full 180-degree turn from Donald Trump’s demented worldview. But hold on, that is not quite the case. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, it appears that a residual lawlessness can be found in at least one the Biden’s foreign policies. We can recognize it in the game he is playing with Iran. 

Part II—Scuttling the JCPOA

Recall that in 2015 then-President Obama invested a lot of political capital, not to mention putting forth a remarkable display of good sense, in helping to negotiate a multilateral agreement with Iran. This is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and it was multilateral because it included not just the U.S. and Iran but also the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China as well as Germany (collectively referred to as the P5+1). Basically, the agreement stated that, under a regime of international monitoring, Iran would forgo any development of nuclear weapons and convert its nuclear facilities to peacetime pursuits. In exchange, the P5+1 would lift all nuclear-related economic sanctions, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and the release of frozen assets. It was a rare display of effective diplomacy and it worked—until Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, unilaterally scuttled the deal. 

Trump withdrew from the agreement in early May 2018. By January 2020 he had increased the number of Iran-related sanctions to over one thousand. In 2019, Trump was suggesting that if Iran wanted to enter into new negotiations with the U.S., he would consider lifting some of the sanctions. Iran refused to begin the negotiating process over again with Trump. On 15 January 2021, five days before leaving office, Trump added new sanctions. Why did he display such maliciousness? Besides a bizarre hatred for anything Obama had achieved, and the disdain for international cooperation which supposedly stood in the way of his MAGA fantasies, there are other factors. Trump is a truly amoral schemer (we might think of him as a modern-day lawless Borgia). And so he almost naturally fell in with amoral regimes with active domestic lobbies in the U.S. (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel), as well as a “pay to play” approach for the votes and donations of Americans who have a grudge against or fear of Iran. Here we can name not only the Zionists, but also the wealthy Iranians who took refuge in the U.S. after Iran’s 1979 revolution. Many of these are Iranian monarchists who want to see regime change in Iran through the return of a shah (king).

Under the circumstances, the Iranian government reaction has been understandable: they see themselves as the aggrieved party. They had negotiated the JCPOA in good faith. They had met the conditions of the agreement to the satisfaction of international monitors. The other side had failed to respond as promised. Not only had the U.S. broke the agreement without cause, but it had then blackmailed its European allies into breaking their commitments under the agreement. This was done by the Trump administration declaring that any party that broke Washington’s sanctions against Iran would themselves be sanctioned.

After a year or so, Iran, noting that it was the only party paying attention to the deal and that the sanctions still applied, began to slowly back away from the nuclear agreement’s provisions. However, it was not until January 2020 that the Iranians announced they would no longer limit their number of centrifuges and thus their capacity to enrich uranium. Even then it was not the obscene number of American sanctions or the gross failure of the Europeans to abide by their promises that finally “broke the camel’s back.” It was Trump’s ordering of the murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on 3 January 2020—essentially an act of war, and certainly one in violation of international law.

Part III—Joe Biden, the Bad Stuff

Now Trump is gone and we have Joe Biden, who, by the way, has not done the right thing and affirmed that his administration would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. Instead he declared that “I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” (my emphasis). Later he said that the subsequent negotiations would involve the Islamic Republic’s “violations of human rights and Iran’s role in the regional conflicts.” On its face, this is not an invitation to return to a stabilizing status quo ante, or even a supposed “credible path back to diplomacy.” It is a take-it-or-leave-it demand. This position is remarkably similar to that of Trump posturing for new negotiations back in 2019. And since, as of 7 February 2021, Biden has refused to lift sanctions on Iran—has refused to cease driving that country into poverty—these are no longer Trump’s sanctions. Biden now owns this horror show. Here are some of Biden’s fatal steps.

It was about nine days into the new administration that Biden’s officials began to reference foreign policy and Iran. First appeared Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, who told the U.S. Institute of Peace that “a critical early priority has to be to deal with what is an escalating nuclear crisis as they [Iran] move closer and closer to having enough fissile material for a weapon.” One wonders if Sullivan got his start in advertising, because his description is a purposeful mischaracterization of the situation. The descriptor “escalating nuclear crisis” is a woeful exaggeration. If there is any “crisis” at all, it is because Washington has failed to meet its commitments under the 2015 agreement. The Iranians have repeatedly made it clear that they have no interest in nuclear weapons. And, one can imagine the only thing that could change their mind is an existential outside threat. To date, the only ones that pose such threats are allies of the U.S.: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Then stepped up Tony Blinken, Biden’s new secretary of state, to continue the new administration’s maneuvers. To wit, Blinken stated “Tehran must resume complying with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal before Washington would do so.” This sort of statement is a rather childish, you-go-first challenge. Blinken then explained that if Iran returns to the deal, Washington would seek to build what Blinken called a “longer and stronger agreement” that would deal with other “deeply problematic” issues. He did not name these, but Biden for his part has drawn attention to Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxy forces in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

It took the Iranians no time at all to recognize this gambit for what it is, an effort to enlarge restrictions on Iranian military capacity beyond the scope of the original 2015 agreement. Almost immediately, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, responded that the U.S. position was not practical and will not happen and then added in an op-ed in Foreign Affairs,“once a party leaves an agreement, then that party has no authority demanding others’ compliance to that agreement.”

The Iranians did come back with a more doable proposal to deal with the “who goes first” dilemma. Teheran proposed a timed, mutual U.S. and Iranian return to the original agreement. In an interview with CNN, the Iranian foreign minister said “both countries should synchronize their JCPOA-related moves under the supervision of the European Union”—in other words, achieve the goal with a step-by-step coordinated process. The Biden administration said no to Zarif’s offer, and sane minds, noting the rejection, could hear eerie Trump-like snickering in the surrounding ether. 

Part IV—Conclusion

We have already asked why Trump decided to act in such a malicious manner toward Iran. Now we can ask why Joe Biden has decided to mimic his predecessor and continue a callous, hard-line approach to that same country. As it turns out, the answer is not all that different. Biden is subject to the same lobby pressure from groups to which he has a demonstrated sympathy. Among these are some of the well known suspects mentioned above, but first and foremost are Israel and its Zionist supporters (a rundown of these can be found in a full-page ad in the 5 February 2021 New York Times). 

We can also add one other grouping to this list—various civil rights organizations who would use the moment to pressure Teheran to increase the level of civil liberties allowed in the country. However, as Behrooz Ghamari Tabriz, writing in  Counterpunch notes, “It is a hard sell for those who are genuinely concerned with the question of human rights to ask the American government to be the agent of that change. So long as our government supports the region’s most oppressive regimes, it is hard to imagine that it has any moral authority or political capital to spend on issues of human rights in Iran.”

It is hard to know what exactly is going on inside Joe Biden’s head on this issue. We can assume that it is nothing really analytical. His administration’s actions have, so far, run counter to the other precedents he is laying down in the areas of international cooperation and leadership. They also go against logic. One can imagine no better way to move the Iranians toward nuclear weapons capability than the policies now being pursued. Until Biden acts, in terms of Iran, in the interests of achievable nuclear restraint and stability, that is in the real interests of the country he leads, rather than this or that interest group, he will carry around the residual chains of Donald Trump’s miserable legacy. 

Non Muslims should also recognise the achievements of Iran’s Revolution

Talk by Dr Tim Anderson in Sydney on the 42nd anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. 11 February 2021. Video by Shawki Moselmane.

Iran: Keeper of mankind’s anti-imperialist flame amid the ‘end of history’

Source

Thursday, 04 February 2021 3:33 AM  

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Islamic Revolution, February 1979. (Photo by Reuters)
Iran at 42: Keeper of mankind’s anti-imperialist flame amid the ‘end of history’
Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US election. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China,’ which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

By Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with The Saker

At 42 years the Iranian Islamic Revolution has endured so long that it has seen the reactionary force which rose to counter it – Reaganism – partially defeated by a new faction: Trumpism.

With the return to power – via Joe Biden – of the three decade-long Clintonista ideology Iran hasn’t lasted so very long as to witness a total sea change in US politics, but revolutionary Iran continues to vex, undermine and even defeat mighty Washington precisely because of a key pillar of the Islamic Republic: anti-imperialism.

It’s difficult for me to take Biden and his supporters seriously because even though they claim to represent a progressive leap forward politically one never hears them utter the phrase “anti-imperialism”. In fact, nowhere in US mainstream discourse is this phrase ever heard, and that should be very telling about the true nature of the political factions here.

Anti-imperialism. Indeed, it is a complete sentence. It is a definitive answer to so many questions and problems.

It’s so big that even Wikipedia’s scant page on anti-imperialism relates how it has five different axes: “the moral, the economic, the systemic, the cultural and the temporal”. In one column I cannot discuss all five axes, but I can relate how the phrase is never discussed in both polite and impolite American society. That’s worth repeating because the US is so very aggressive militarily, still.

The single greatest cardinal sin in politics is to attack another country, so from a political point of view the dominant concept behind “anti-imperialism” is an anti-war stance: To be anti-imperialist is to be pro-peace. Therefore, in its political sense “anti-imperialism” is a phrase which implies an inherently internationalist viewpoint which sees weaker – or maybe just less warlike –  countries bound together against any colonising aggressor.

The sad reality is that “anti-imperialism” is not what it used to be.

As I have often related, an accurate analysis of modern human history is that precisely as Iran emerged victorious from the Western-orchestrated War of Holy Defense (also referred to as the Iran-Iraq War) the global anti-imperialist struggle completely collapsed, due to the fall of the USSR and Europe’s Eastern Bloc.

Almost universally anti-imperialism had a crisis of intellectual confidence. This even allowed Western pro-imperialists to insist that Iran was in a laughable condition: it went from being a revolutionary country to an outdated country almost overnight! The sad, but partial, truth of this historical era is not widely understood even in 2021.

It’s an important rejoinder that Iran’s revolutionary mix of anti-imperialism, state economic management and a modern, late-20th century political structure mixed with the revolutionary addition of clerical democratic inclusion has also still not been fully understood by most non-Iranians on both the left and the right.

But for pro-imperialists understanding was not necessary because in 1992 they infamously, abruptly and arrogantly declared the “end of history”, and that anti-imperialism had permanently lost. This explains Washington’s philosophy towards Iran for the last 30 years: waste time – and make things as difficult as possible via illegal and murderous sanctions – until Iran catches up with “history”. Or to put it in the exact terms used today by the Biden administration, which is struggling to gain domestic legitimacy after a deeply-disputed election: wait for Iran to accept “reality” (a “reality” defined by pro-imperialists, of course).

After 42 years Iran is still waiting for many to understand the political and economic modernity of its culture, but most with open eyes have at least partially come to understand Iran thanks to its actions. They see that Iran is consistently a top 10 country in the acceptance of refugees; they see that Iran puts its best and most beloved, like QasemSoleimani, in harm’s way in foreign nations in order to aid their struggles; they see that Iran supports righteous Sunni countries like Palestine; they see that Iran takes major and daring risks to send help to Latino countries like Venezuela; they see that Iran followed all the rules of the JCPOA pact on Iran’s nuclear energy program even when Western signatories did not.

Anyone with open eyes sees that Iran is an internationalist country, an anti-imperialist fighter, a peacemaker and a supporter of righteous global cooperation . Anyone with a modicum of imagination has also wondered just how very successful Iran could be and would have been – with their natural and human resources, and with the exact system they have had in place for 42 years – if the West would end its decades of imperialist blockades on Iran.

In the modern digital age – dominated by Western corporations who undoubtedly support pro-imperialist ideologies – eyes are not allowed to be opened, sadly. The pen is not mightier than the sword of deplatforming, censorship and endless Western propaganda.

And yet anti-imperialism remains an ever-powerful sword, because defense of one’s home and sovereignty is always legitimate.

In the post-1991 world who has wielded this sword more than Iran? This is not mere boasting, and proof of humility can be shown by quickly recounting the history of modern anti-imperialist struggles:

Only a know-nothing would say that the USSR, with its 25 million martyrs, didn’t primarily defeat German imperialism. China gave so very much to protect Korea from American invasion, but not as much as North Koreans gave, of course. The sacrifices of the Vietnamese were the most globally galvanising anti-imperialist force in the 20th century – who could ever forget that? Ending South African Apartheid can never be forgotten, but Western media certainly does obscure the role played by Cuban soldiers in repelling attacks from the Western-backed South African Defense Force, which ultimately resulted in the discrediting of the entire South African system and led to the freedom of Angola and modern-day Namibia. And who can forget when Algiers was the “Mecca of revolutionaries”, following the victory of its incredibly inspiring anti-imperialist struggle which overturned 132 years of Algeria “being France”?

Yet Iran’s contributions to the global and supremely humane anti-imperialist movement have been easily obscured by the West’s post-2001 state-sponsored ideology: Islamophobia.

Islamophobia was a very good ideology for pro-imperialists to promote because it has no troublesome economic or class components – it is mere xenophobia. Islamophobia explains why even the few committed Western anti-imperialists so often dismiss Iran’s anti-imperialism with a dismissive wave of their hand: they feel that because of the presence of the religion of Islam Iran is too difficult to even be understood. Sadly, Western pro-imperialists – via the promotion of Islamophobia – have won in many areas for decades.

Iran is concerned with Islam, of course, but Islam differs from Christianity in that there is no possibility for forced conversion, for proselytising monks or nuns or for the forcing of faith on others. Islam, from a political, economic and geopolitical perspective, is simply an insufficient tool with which to define all of modern Iran (believing that it is sufficient is Islamophobic, of course).

Because anti-imperialism cannot die as long as countries are conquered and colonised (openly or via puppets), it must have a center somewhere, no?

It’s laughable to say that the centre of the anti-imperialist movement in 2021 – which began in politics with Lenin and his critiques of Western-style capitalism – could be located anywhere in the United States. Or in Western Europe, for that matter.

I think it is perhaps fair to say the centre in 2021 is in Iran.

If that seems strange to your ears: Isn’t it true that Western Islamophobia has made modern Iran seem to be totally inscrutable, or even not even worth serious analysis? At the very same time, hasn’t the huge reductions in the anti-imperialist movement – which was a global cultural force for nearly a century – made Iran even more atypical? Is Iran so hard to place on the global and historical political spectrums because it is so very revolutionary, or is it that many simply don’t make the effort to accurately understand it’s structures, ideals and actions?

After 42 years Iran’s actions are clear, even if – to some – their motivations and methods are not yet comprehended.

There are other established anti-imperialist nations, as I have noted, and I am not accusing them of resting on their laurels – I simply note here that since 1979 Iran has undoubtedly joined their company in the history of modern mankind. Given the importance of anti-imperialism in establishing global peace, goodwill and cooperation – who wouldn’t thank God for that?

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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Nasrallah: ‘It was Iran’s Soleimani who convinced Putin to enter Syria war’

January 25, 2021

Nasrallah: ‘It was Iran’s Soleimani who convinced Putin to enter Syria war’

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/nasrallah-it-was-irans-soleimani-who-convinced-putin-to-enter-syria-war/

Description:

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah recounts how assassinated Iranian General Qassim Soleimani held a two-hour long meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and convinced him to militarily enter the war in Syria in support of the government in Damascus and its allies.

Source: Al Mayadeen Programs (YouTube)

Date: December 27, 2020

Transcript:

– The Host:

Did martyr Qassim Soleimani really meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, and talk to him in person about the deployment of Russian forces to Syria?

-Sayyed Nasrallah:

That is correct. There had been discussions before (regarding this issue). As you know, before its intervention (in Syria), Russia maintained a (purely) political stance. It initially started as a political stance. Russia would use its veto power in the Security Council to defend and protect (Syria). It would provide help in logistical and intelligence matters, but (its support) never got to the point of establishing a (military) presence (in Syria).

Anyway, the shifts in the battle in Syria began only in the second year (of the war). The curve (showing the authority/position of the Syrian government) was descending in the first year, but by the second and third years, the curve began to ascend.

However, of course, the battle would have dragged on …

– The Host:

(the curve began to ascend) in mid-2013 …

– Sayyed Nasrallah:

(The battle) would have dragged on for much longer than it did (if not for Russia’s intervention). Therefore, Russia’s military intervention (in Syria) was highly important. We cannot deny that.

That day (when Soleimani went to Russia), Russian President Putin was hesitant, and as you know Russia was virtually besieged (at the time). It had (no influence) in the region i.e. in the Middle East. (The US) even stripped Russia (of its influence over) Eastern European states. One after another, (certain) states that neighbored Russia and were inside its sphere of influence were taken over by America.

Regardless, (the Russians) were concerned about this decision (intervention in Syria) as it could either be a risky step that was doomed to fail, or one that might achieve success. As a result, it was not a political discussion that would convince (Putin) but rather a military discussion.

At the time, after coordination between Iran and Russia, our brother Hajj Qassim (Soleimani) went to Moscow and met with President Putin for two hours – the length of the meeting is important. A number of relevant military, security and political officials were present (at the meeting as well). Hajj (Qassim) told me this (information) himself…(I heard this) directly from him, not through word of mouth. He said, “I spread the maps out on the table and (started talking about): the current situation, our location/positions (and by ‘our’ he means the Syrian army and all its allies), the location/positions of the armed groups, the opportunities for (military) action, and the chances of success”.

(In this meeting) he (Soleimani) presented a (comprehensive) strategic report to (Putin) on the situation in Syria and the region, (and explained) the proposed idea and the expected results. Of course, (in the meeting) he used a scientific, objective, military and battlefield language, (and based his statements) on maps, land areas, numbers and statistics. At this meeting, President Putin said to Hajj (Qassim): “I am convinced”, and the decision (for a Russian military effort in Syria) was made. This what I heard from Hajj Soleimani, and it is (now) well-known by everyone.

– The Host:

So can I say that the Russian intervention (in Syria started) with an Iranian initiative in consultation with Damascus, or at Syria’s request?

– Sayyed Nasrallah: It was at Syria’s request. (Syria) wanted (Russia) to take part (in this war).

– The Host: So Syria did not directly ask (Russia to intervene)?

– Sayyed Nasrallah:

(Syria) never asked Russia (to intervene)? I don’t know, but I suppose it did. That would be the obvious choice because there was an actual need…

– The Host: But Putin …

– Sayyed Nasrallah:

… there was an actual need for help. Mr. Ghassan, there is a leadership, a regime, a country that is facing global war, so it would be normal (for Syria) to ask Russia for help. Russia was hesitant to intervene. The Syrian and Iranian discussions…

Look, I am somewhat objective and rational. I do not like to create myths. It is not accurate to say that Hajj Qassim Soleimani (alone) is the one who convinced Putin to intervene (in Syria). I prefer to say that through his strategic reading (of events), argumentation, compelling logic, and charismatic personality, Hajj Qassim Soleimani was able to provide an outstanding addition to all the previous efforts that led Russia to take the decision to come to Syria. Great efforts were made (before) and many discussions were held, yet President Putin reportedly remained hesitant.

Hajj (Soleimani) was able to persuade (Putin). As you know, he was skilled in (the art of) persuasion and had (impeccable) logic . He did not shame Russia into (joining the war), nor did he use (empty) rhetoric. Not at all. He used a scientific language, as he explained the (possible) military and battlefield outcomes, as well as the political outcomes for the (Russian) intervention (in Syria).

I believe that today – following the (Russian) intervention in Syria and the major regional and global transformations – Russia, President Putin, the Russian people and everyone knows that Russia found its way back to the international arena through the gateway of Syria.

(Important Note: 

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General Soleimani’s legacy: Unifying the Arab resistance against imperialism and hegemony

By Amal Wahdan

January 13, 2021 – 12:51

Today, the masses of the resistance movements in the region are commemorating the first anniversary of the martyrdom of General Qassem Soleimani and his companion Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. 

General Soleimani played a major transnational role across borders and sectarian lines to unite the resistance movements in the region to enable them to confront the vicious plans of the USA, Zionist and Saudi regimes to divide and control the countries of the region.
We have to emphasize and remind the whole world of the nature of this cowardly act by the USA, the Zionist terrorist colonial regime, and the Saudi criminal state. 

The assassination in its nature is an intentional and deliberate crime, a violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is also a violation of the sovereignty of the state of Iraq, which is a member of the United Nations. The Iranian government has every right to take this matter to the ICC against the three countries who were involved in this crime and to the UN Security Council in addition to retaliation.  

Why did the USA assassinate General Soleimani? First of all, General Soleimani was a leader in the Revolutionary Guard, then the General Commander of its Al Quds Force, which by its name considered by the USA as a threat to the Zionist colonial regime in occupied Palestine, their military base in the area.

Second, for his extraordinary role in assisting the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, who was at war with the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon and was able to liberate the South in the May of 2000 with the great help of Iran and Soleimani. He continued to assist through the 2006 Israeli aggression against Lebanon until his assassination. Today, the Lebanese resistance movement has advanced its military and logistic capabilities by almost 100 times since 2000 and 2006.

The third is General Soleimani’s role in promoting the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip without any factional or sectarian discrimination. His strategy was to work with all Islamic and secular resistance organizations who share the ability and fit to fight a long term struggle against the Israeli occupation, “the absolute evil”, as described by him, until liberation and independence. It was General Soleimani who took the decision with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to negotiate with President Bashar Al Assad to provide the Palestinian resistance with Cornet missiles and he took responsibility to deliver them to Gaza in 2005 which was the cornerstone in deterring military aggression. He transformed the Palestinian resistance to an advanced level.

Fourth, General Soleimani played a great military role in the joint operation room against FSA, ISIS, and Jabhat al-Nusra through the 10 years of the terrorist war against Syria. He fought hand in hand with the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah fighters, provided them with training, ammunition, and supplies.

Fifth, General Soleimani also played a great role in assisting the Iraqi resistance movement regardless of their religious or political backgrounds. He helped unite the different groups under one umbrella: the popular brigades (Hashd al-Shaabi). He provided them with training, ammunition, supplies, and logistics. He was a good companion with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy leader of Hashd al-Shaabi, and worked with him hand in hand in the different fronts in Iraq until they defeated ISIS.     

Sixth, General Soleimani also supported the Yemeni Army, popular committees, and Ansarullah in their fight against the Saudi, the U.S., and Zionist aggression of 2200 days in a row, which has left hundreds of thousands of casualties mainly among children, women, and the elderly.

General Soleimani’s legacy of uniting the resistance movements in the region from Iraq to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and most importantly uniting the resistance forces in Gaza, the front line against the Zionist colonial apartheid regime. A deterrence power that forced the Zionist military and political apparatus from any aggression attempts or land incursions. 

The general was a man of ethics, principles, and passion; an exceptional military general with strategic thinking and diplomatic skills. He was assassinated while he was on a diplomatic mission. His assassination is a great loss for the axis of resistance and humanity but marks the defeat of the U.S. hegemony and aggression era.
 

RELATED NEWS

Trump’s disgraceful end

January 9, 2021 – 12:10

By M.A. Saki

It was too late for Americans, especially most of his fellow Republicans, to realize how dangerous Donald Trump was. 

I cannot forget remarks by Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, an expert in global thought and comparative philosophies, who said that “Trump is the most dangerous man in the world.”

On Wednesday, Trump provoked assault on the Capitol in a last-ditch effort to overturn the results of the November 3 election in which he lost with a rather large margin.  

According to CNN, in his first presidential debate on October 1, Trump refused to condemn White supremacists and blamed what he called “antifa and the left” for violence and told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

At last, his Proud Boys, a mob of fanatics, caused mayhem by storming and capturing the Capitol, violently disrupting the ceremonial electoral count. The move by the fanatics came as a severe blow to the heart of democracy that the U.S. has been boasting of.

Trump has been repeatedly claiming that the U.S. presidential election looked like an election in a third world country. But, in fact, it was Trump himself who behaved like a dictator in a third world country as he refused to admit losing the election. 

It is very difficult for the liar-in-chief to admit defeat and resist his egoism. He proved that he is ready to push the United States toward a crisis in order to please his egoism.

Just prior to the elections, he kept claiming that he will win the presidency for a second term otherwise the votes are rigged.

Trump’s entire presidency was filled with numerous lies. He has no principles. In addition, the self-centered president shows no respect to democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, etc. By inciting his supporters, who attacked the Capitol building, he crucified democracy and the rule of law in the U.S. and showed complete disregard for those who had not voted for him.

If the American Constitution had not restrained Trump, he would have acted more irresponsibly and recklessly at home and abroad.

His unprecedented sanctions against Iran under the name of the “maximum pressure” campaign are in violation of international law. The sanctions have pushed millions of Iranian citizens to the verge of poverty and instead made a small percentage of Iranians millionaires because of skyrocketing inflation. This will remain in the memory of Iranians forever. His reckless order of assassinating Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020 reminded the people of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which ignited the First World War. 

Also, his move in recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the stolen Golan Heights and moving the U.S. capital to Jerusalem in violation of UN Security Council resolutions are some other examples of the illegal moves that the Trump administration should be ashamed of.

Trump picked Mike Pompeo as his secretary of state, who according to Professor Adib-Moghaddam, “continued to pursue an essentially ideological foreign policy, driven by a distinctively irrational approach to world politics in general and Iran in particular.” 

Actually, from the very beginning, Trump was unfit for the post of president. However, a great majority of Republicans in Congress, especially in the Senate, kept supporting him just for partisan interests. 

Regardless of certain extremist senators such as Ted Cruz and a considerable number of lawmakers in the House of Representatives who still repeat Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, finally it was realized that the person that the Republicans supported for four years based on party lines dealt the greatest blow to the Republicans themselves. And fortunately, he is being forced, of course legally, to leave the White House in disgrace.  

PA/PA

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Trnaslated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Before I delve into the occasion of the first annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the two dear leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis [Hajj Jamal Jaafar], and their martyred comrades, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss a few other events.

Firstly, the past few days marked the annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the great and truthful, Lady of the Women of the World, a piece of the Messenger of Allah [may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family], the wife of God’s guardian, and the Mother of Imams [peace be upon them] Sayyeda Fatima al-Zahraa, the daughter of the Messenger of God. Muslims are unanimous in their veneration, reverence, appreciation, and love for her as well as for her dignity and greatness. This is an occasion to offer condolences to her grandson, Sahib Al-‘asr Wa Al-zaman and all Muslims in the world.

Secondly, in the past few days, we lost a great scholar, a jurist, and a thinker in the fullest sense of the word. This comes at a time when the number of thinkers is declining. He was a great Islamic thinker, a  prominent connoisseur, one of Allah’s righteous friends, an educator and a teacher, a loyal wise man, and a steadfast mujahid on the path of truth and in supporting the causes of the nation in this era. I’m talking about His Eminence, the Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Misbah Al-Yazdi [may God Almighty be pleased with him].

Also on this occasion, we extend our condolences to His Eminence, Imam Khamenei, our honorable religious authorities and Hawzas, and our Islamic nation, especially for members of his honorable and generous family, as well as all his students and loved ones. I ask God Almighty to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

In Lebanon, due to the coronavirus scourge, we lost a dear brother from the early generation. He was among the first groups and first founding leaders of Hezbollah’s march, brother Sayyed Abu Ayman Al-Mousawi [Sayyed Muhammad Abbas Al-Mousawi], may God have mercy on him. He was the companion of our martyr and leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi [may God Almighty be pleased with him]. He among the forerunners of the Mujahideen believers working and sacrificing in the Beqaa region. He was among the founders of the Imam al-Mahdi [PBUH] Scouts Association in Lebanon. He was its first president or its first general commissioner. I also offer condolences to all his brothers and sisters and companions on this path, especially his honorable and noble family members. I ask God to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

We come to our occasion. One year ago, in the early hours of the morning much like this one, around the same time in January, this great and tragic incident took place. It was recorded in history and will remain immortal – its magnitude, greatness, the grievances, the blood that was shed, its repercussions, its effects, and its consequences for the entire region.

Today, I would like to talk about several points related to this occasion and the events that occurred between then and the first anniversary.

The first point is loyalty to the martyred leaders and those who were martyred with them. Of course, when we talk about the martyrs, we must once again at the beginning extend our condolences and congratulate the families of martyr commander Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian martyrs who were martyred with him:

  • Martyr Hussein Jaafari Nia, who for 20 years was one of our brothers, a friend, a beloved person, and a shadow to Hajj Qassem.
  • Martyr brother Shahroud Mozaffari Nia
  • Martyr brother Hadi Tarmi
  • Martyr brother Wahid Zamanian

I also offer condolences and congratulate the family of martyr commander Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Jamal Jaafar, and the Iraqi martyrs who were with him:

  • Martyr Muhammad Reda Al-Jabri
  • Martyr Muhammad al-Shaibani
  • Martyr Hassan Abdel-Hadi
  • Martyr Ali Haidar

May God Almighty be pleased with them all.

Loyalty to the martyred leaders.

Loyalty, as we all know, is a human and innate value because man is born with it. It is a moral value that does not need to be inferred. It is a religious value. This is God’s religion.

When a loyal person practices loyalty, it benefits him in this world and the hereafter. Those who you are loyal to may not need your loyalty. The martyrs, who have departed to their great world beside God Almighty, do not need our loyalty. But being loyal to our great people and martyrs, to those who made sacrifices in our nation, to our defenders, to those who were sincere in bearing our responsibility and our causes will benefit us and will benefit our people, our children, and grandchildren in this world and in the hereafter.

Today, loyalty is a duty to these two great leaders, particularly to commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, for being in many arenas and for what they represent. How do we translate this loyalty?

First, we must not to negate their services and give them credit.

Second, we must acknowledge their services and give them credit. This means we should not be silent because it is possible that a person might not refute their services but does not acknowledge them and remains silent! Loyalty is to acknowledge their services and give them credit.

Third, we must remind them to the people, to the world, to our peoples, to our future generations, and to history. We must point out their sacrifices and their achievements. Being loyal means honoring these martyrs and respecting them, in various forms of honor and respect.

Another form of loyalty is to thank them publicly for what they offered and sacrificed. We must tell them thank you. We must thank Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the martyr commander. We must thank Hajj Abu Mahdi a-Muhandis. We must thank the martyrs. We must thank everyone who represents. We must thank these martyr leaders for the sacrifices they made for our peoples, countries, region, and causes. This gratitude is a duty. Look, God Almighty, who is in no need of us, our worship, and our thanksgiving, asks us to thank Him. He tells us that {If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].} But if you deny, it’s a different matter.

Being thankful, being thankful for the blessings and for the services has very great effects even in this world. It is true that whoever stands by you is doing his duty. But when you thank him and when he finds you to be loyal to him, sincere with him, and acknowledging his services, his enthusiasm, courage, seriousness, and drive to help you, to support you, to defend you, and to stand beside you will be greater. This is human nature.

Thus, we must have this type of loyalty. Of course, there are other requirements for loyalty that I will not talk about now because there are people who cannot bear them.

From the first hour of this grave historical event, the martyrdom of these great figures, until today, the first annual anniversary, we have witnessed great and important manifestations of loyalty. For example, since the very first hours, there was great and massive public interaction in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the incident. People rushed to the squares in many governorates and cities, especially in the provincial centers. Also, the same took place when the bodies of the martyrs were brought and during the funeral procession. It was a historic funeral procession. A person can say it was the greatest funeral procession in human history. And if he wanted to be on the safe side, he’d say perhaps the greatest. You can examine this if you want.

This is an expression of loyalty. Since day one, Hajj Qassem was being mentioned by the Iranians – young and old, in all areas and provinces, the state, the regime, the officials, of course His Eminence the Leader, the Iranian people, the scholars, the religious authorities.

There were very diverse and various forms of honoring him and showing respect and appreciation, from that time until today. The Islamic Republic and in the words of His Eminence Imam Khamenei declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran. This was an official announcement. In Iran, a country with an ancient and prolonged civilization, the title of a national hero means a lot. Some Arab countries might consider it a slogan but not in Iran no. It has a different meaning.

In any case, what we have seen so far is an elevated expression of loyalty, love, affection, gratitude, remembrance, and recognition of merit. During all the interviews in which Iranians were asked, they would say that we do this to recognize what Hajj Qassem Soleimani offered to the Islamic Republic of Iran. That’s it.

Of course, this is a lesson for all of us on how to deal with our martyrs and our martyred leaders, how to honor them, how to respect them, how to praise them, how to glorify them, how to give them credit, and how not to be divided over them.

We have also witnessed this matter in Iraq, where this pure blood was shed and this heinous crime was committed,  in Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Turkey, in many Islamic countries, in many non-Muslim countries, in Venezuela, and in other capital cities in the world.

The main topic of my talk in this section is Lebanon. We have to remember, recognize, thank, and appreciate those who stood with us since the first day of the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Here, I will respond to some of the atmospheres and climates in Lebanon, and it is useful to mention them. We all remember that stage. “Israel” and the “Israeli” occupation army invaded Lebanese territory. There was a threat to occupy all Lebanese lands and target Damascus. Iran was preoccupied with a war imposed on it by Saddam Hussein’s regime and all the tyrants of the world and the region baking him.

Nevertheless, Imam Khomeini did not leave Lebanon or Syria. If we are to talk about interests, Iran’s interest was for its leaders, soldiers, and weapons to remain on the front to defend it. It was isolated and besieged by the whole world, yet it did not leave Lebanon or Syria.

Imam Khomeini sent a very high-ranking delegation of military commanders from the Guards Corps and the army to Damascus. They met with Syrian officials. After that, he also sent forces. However, it later became clear that “Israeli” advances stopped at the established borders, i.e. the western Beqaa, Mount Lebanon, and the areas it controlled in 1982. The rest of Lebanon was not threatened.

The conventional warfare stopped. Syria was not the subject of an invasion. So, the next stage was a stage of resistance. Some Iranian forces, specifically belonging to the Guards Corps, stayed behind to help the Lebanese, train and provide them with support to resist the occupation. Since 1982, Iran and Syria were the most important supporter of the resistance in Lebanon.

So when I’m asking the Lebanese people and when we’re talking about loyalty, being grateful, and giving credit to others, I am asking them who has been helping Lebanon liberate its lands since 1982. You tell me certain Arab state provided financial aid and helped rebuild. In recent years, they also provided huge sums of money to some Lebanese, not for Lebanon but for these Lebanese to fight the resistance, conspire against it, and besiege it. This is another research. Who stood by the Lebanese people, protected them, and defended them via diplomacy, politics, in the media, in international forums? Who gave them weapons and capabilities, set up training camps for them, trained them, and financed them until the liberation of the 2000 was achieved? It is very natural for those who were saddened, bothered, and hurt by the 2000 liberation not too feel gratitude. After 2000 and until today, the resistance, within the golden equation, is the one protecting Lebanon against the “Israeli” enemy. The resistance is the one that protects Lebanon. It is the one helping Lebanon to preserve its rights and sovereignty. We must admit this.

Allow me here to say a couple of words since it comes in this context. Yesterday, one of the dear brothers in Iran, Brother Brigadier General Hajj Zadeh, read a statement. The Lebanese media took the statement and distorted it. This is because there are people in Lebanon whose political presence is based on forgery and distortion.

The headline reads: Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Lebanon and Gaza’s missiles are support from us and are our first line in confronting “Israel”.

As for the actual news which was written in Arabic – we have not reached the text in Farsi yet – it reads: All the missile capabilities that Gaza and Lebanon possess are supported provided by Iran, and they are the first line in confronting “Israel”.

Nowhere does it say our first line in confronting “Israel”. There was no mention of Iran’s first line of defense in confronting “Israel”. Iran gave missiles to Gaza and Lebanon to make it possible for the people of Gaza and Lebanon to defend themselves.

But you are a group of weak people who distort news without making sure first and adding to the words of any Iranian official just for the sake of a media scoop.

And one of the graces of God is {perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.} There are people who have been absent for a long time. We haven’t heard from or made any statements. In the two days, they came out to respond to the aforementioned statement.

In the same statement, [Hajj Zadeh] says that we support and stand by all the people who ae confronting the occupation. This is an order from the Supreme Leader. What is wrong about this talk?

Yes, we also say that the Islamic Republic is the one that supports us with weapons and missiles. We also say that we are a front, and Gaza is a front. Gaza has been a front since 1948. Lebanon has been a front since 1948. But since 1948, Lebanon has been a front that was being killed and insulted. Its sovereignty was being violated. Gendarmes were arrested from their outposts in border villages. Massacres were committed in border villages. Lebanon’s airspace as well as territory and waters were violated. But today, it is a different front.

And I tell these people, if Lebanon is strong today and if there is anyone in the world asking about Lebanon or sees Lebanon on the map, or if anyone in America and Europe are asking about Lebanon, it is thanks to this resistance and these missiles. Full stop.

We all know – God willing, I will talk about this issue at a later time –what the value of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon is to the global and regional countries. I also want to tell them that if there was hope for Lebanon to have some money, it would be from the oil and gas. And if someone gave Lebanon the opportunity to extract gas and oil, especially from the rich blocs in the south, it is thanks to the resistance, its missiles, and its weapons – missiles that Iran and Syria gave to the resistance.

Therefore, I would also like to add and say that all Iranian support for the resistance in Lebanon is unconditional. All the battles that the resistance fought in Lebanon from 1982 until today were for the sake of liberating Lebanon and the Lebanese prisoners and defending Lebanon’s land, waters, and sovereignty. It will remain like so. I can also add that perhaps one of the most important and most independent resistance in the history of mankind in terms of its decisions is this resistance that exists today in Lebanon. So, do not tire yourselves a lot. This will suffice for you.

In any case, when we come to loyalty, it is our duty in Lebanon. That is why it is very natural that we mark this occasion and celebrate it, name some of our streets, squares, natural reserves, and some institutions after Hajj Qassem Soleimani or Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Some people believe that we are overdoing it. In the past when we wanted to name a street after Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, or Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi, some people got sensitive about the topic. Why?

Any people who respect themselves, have a civilization, have a culture, and have values deal with their martyrs this way. This is how they deal with people who served them, who were on their side, and supported them. This is also a form of loyalty – from a moral standpoint, I enter into the political topic. Being loyal is also not equating a friend to an enemy, or at the very least, those who left us behind and abandoned us – that is if we do not want to refer to them as enemies. In other words, there are three types of people. There is the enemy, a conspirator and a partner in shedding our blood, occupying our lands, and violating our sanctities. The second type is not the enemy, but they might leave you behind, abandon you, and not offer a helping hand or even a word. Then, there is the third type. These people help you, support you, stand by your side, defend you, put themselves in harm’s way, and offer martyrs. We must not treat these three types of people equally. Neither reason nor morals nor religion accept that, right? Neither human instinct nor logic accept this as well.

We in Lebanon cannot equate between those who supported us with their position, money, and weapons; were martyred with us; lived the hardship with us; helped us liberate our land and free our captives; and made us into a deterrent force in the face of the enemy and those who conspired against Lebanon in 1982 – all these were revealed in documents – supported the “Israeli” enemy during all the years of the occupation, did not provide any assistance to Lebanon, and urged the “Israelis” to continue the July war until the resistance is crushed, even though “Israel” was exhausted by the war and wanted to stop it.

We cannot consider those who were happy for our victory in the July war equal to those who were saddened by our victory. Today, too, we cannot consider those who stand by Lebanon and the strength of Lebanon to regain its oil and gas, protect its land and sky, and face any future dangers or threats equal to those who conspire against Lebanon, besiege it, and prevent it from getting aid.

Likewise in Palestine. The Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people cannot consider those who are providing them with money, weapons, expertise, technology, and training and those who are standing with them in the media, politically, publicly, and diplomatically at every level and bearing the consequences of this position equal to those who are conspiring with the Americans and the “Israelis” against Palestine, its people, and its sanctities as well as the Palestinian refugees in the world, preventing aid from reaching the Palestinian people, besieging and arresting people who are collect aid or donating money to the Palestinian people, let alone those giving them weapons. It is natural that we find loyalty from the Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people towards Hajj Qassem and the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Syria cannot equate between those who were partners, supporters, and financiers of the global war against it, aimed at crushing, destroying, and dividing it and allowing the takfiris to govern it and those who stood by Syria, supported it with money and weapons, men and martyrs, and spent their youth in its squares and fields, such as Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his brothers.

The Iraqis cannot consider those who occupied their lands, destroyed Iraq, committed grave massacres, caused all these disasters, supported all the takfiri groups, sent thousands of suicide bombers and thousands of car bombs to Iraq, provided money and weapons to Takfiri terrorist organizations for many years equal to those who sacrificed their selves, soul, brothers, money, and weapons to stand by the Iraqis, defend them, help them liberate their land from the occupation, help them get rid of Daesh and the Takfiri groups that were destroying and burning Iraq, looting, killing, and committing massacres and sedition. They cannot equate between them.

This is also the case when we talk about Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries. Hence, being loyal also requires that we not equate between these types of people, to know our friends from our enemies from our opponents, and to distinguish between who is just and who is negligent. Loyalty is also one of the conditions of victory. God Almighty threatened to take away blessings from those who disbelieve in them. And for those who are grateful, their blessings will be increased. God will increase their blessings. Loyalty is one of the conditions for victory. It is one of the conditions for perseverance, survival, and steadfastness.

Thus, this is the first topic. Still in this topic, I can say today: Yes, our axis, our nation, our peoples, the resistance movements, their parties, the states, and everyone concerned in this battle regionally expressed their sincerity, loyalty, position, gratitude, recognition, glorification, honor and appreciation to these two great martyr leaders in a proportionate and different manner. And we must continue this. This should not end with the end of the first anniversary. Today, Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi, and all the martyrs are torches. They are suns and moons that illuminate the path for us, and this lighting and guidance must continue.

Second point:

The second point that I want to talk about in this commemoration is the impact of this incident from the beginning until today. This incident was strongly present all year long – in the sentiments, emotions, as well as in the political, security, and military equations. As we speak, there is great concern in the region, in the Gulf region and in Iraq and in our region. Yesterday, the “Israelis” announced that they had raised the level of alert and reserve in their army to the highest levels. All this because of the anniversary of the assassination of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani and martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. This incident imposed itself. And today, the region is in a state of grave tension. Let us not hide behind our finger. We do not know where any incident might drag the region to. The Americans, at the very least, are in a state of fear and worry and are waiting. This is what they are saying.

The brothers in Iran also assume that Trump may prepare something before his departure on January 20. The entire region is in a state of caution and attention. This is as a result of the impact of this incident. This incident cannot be overlooked. And I tell you, this incident will always have a strong impact. Here, I would also like to refer to a very important point because some people here in Lebanon and abroad think in a wrong way. For example, when it comes to the response to the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, some assume that Iran will depend on its proxies as they call them, on its friends, or on its loved ones.    

Iran does not ask its proxies, its friends, or its loved ones for anything, and it has never asked them for anything. When Iran decides to respond militarily as it did in Ain al-Assad, it will respond militarily. When it responds on the security level, it will be in accordance with the nature of the incident.

The assassination of the great nuclear scientist, martyr Dr. Fakhrizadeh was a security operation. If Iran wanted to respond militarily, it would have done so from the beginning or in the first few days, as it responded at Ain Al-Assad base after the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. If Iran’s friends, who are loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the martyrs, took the initiative to respond, it is their business and decision. But what I want the enemies, the friends, and the analysts to know so they do not misanalyse is that Iran is not weak. Iran is strong when it wants to respond militarily and at the security level at the appropriate time, place, and manner.

Some people in Lebanon and the region measure Iran in terms of some of its regional friends. Iran is not like that. Here, I am talking to some of the Lebanese as well. When your master, Trump, talks about some of your regional friends, he says they have nothing but money and that “King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us.” “If we were not defending you, you’d be speaking Farsi in three weeks.”

These are your friends. This is why they need America and others, like the Takfiri groups, and need to finance gangs and mercenaries so that they can defend them, their borders, and even their regimes.

As for Iran, it is strong and does not even need its friends and allies. Let this matter remain clearly present in the minds of everyone who wants to analyze, comment, or approach events of this kind.

Third point:

Also during this commemoration, I want to emphasize that the axis of resistance was able to absorb this big blow. We admit that the blow was very grave and the loss was very great, but the axis was able to absorb it. The Americans, those who helped them, and those who instigated them assumed that when we kill Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the situation in Iraq will turn in their favor and the axis of resistance will collapse. Hajj Qassem represented the wise, courageous, serious, and persevering link, a link that binds the countries, forces, and movements of the axis of resistance. Hence, if we kill this man, the link will be broken.

All this has been addressed and absorbed. Based on our culture, belonging, and history, we know how to turn threats into opportunities. We also know how to transform blood that was unjustly shed into a strong drive to persevere, be steadfast, remain on the path, and be more responsible. They thought that shedding that blood will lead to frustration, despair, carelessness, weakness, withdrawal, or retreat. That is why in the context of this battle, I want the Americans, the “Israelis”, everyone belonging to their axis, and those who kill our leaders and conspire to assassinate our leaders, scholars, elites, or kill our mujahideen, our people, our men and women to know two things very well.

Imam Khomeini used to say, “Kill us; our nation will become more awaken.” Sayyed Abbas used to repeat this phrase: “When you kill us, our people will become more aware.” Look at how Hezbollah in Lebanon was before Sayyed Abbas was martyred. What did it become after his martyrdom? What moral, intellectual, spiritual, and voluntary status and strength did the blood and martyrdom of Sayyed Abbas give to this march? It is the same thing when we talk about the martyrs.

The other thing I wanted to add is when you kill our leaders, we become more adamant, hardened, and more committed to the truth, and our sense of responsibility increases. We’ve lost these great people on this path. How can we abandon it?

Therefore, whoever is betting that murders, assassinations, wars, car bombs, sieges, and sanctions will weaken our will, determination, and resolve is weak. I will later conclude with the sanctions.

Fourth point:

If Iran declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran, we are presenting him as a global hero, a global symbol, a world title, and a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, and loyalty that defends the weak and the oppressed, whether they were Muslims or not.

In every battle and in his entire life, Hajj Qassem Soleimani not only defended the Shiites, but he also defended the Sunnis, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Christians, Muslims, the followers of other religions and denominations, Venezuela, and any country or people that could be besieged, weakened, or conspired against. He was present in the squares. These various and great traits that exist in the personality of this leader qualify him to be a global symbol and hero, to be emulated by all the resistance and mujahideen of this world.

There are also great symbols alongside him. In Iraq, there is Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine in Lebanon and Syria. There are also martyr leaders in Palestine, Yemen, and other arenas. These are symbols and patriotic and national heroes in their country and their nation. But Hajj Qassem Soleimani leads because he was present in all these squares, present strongly and effectively in all of these squares. That is why he must be rightfully introduced. We are not exaggerating or make a legend out of him or anything. Until this moment, I tell you, what has been revealed about Hajj Qassem Soleimani, about the nature of this figure, about his jihad, his watchfulness and his sacrifices, about his achievements as well as the achievement of all the brothers who worked with him in all arenas, have so far been little. There are things that cannot be revealed since the time to talk about them is not appropriate. But they will be revealed later.

In any case, on the first anniversary, I also call for taking this position, dealing with this name, this scene, this image, and this symbolism at this international and global level.

Fifth point:

The last point that I would like to point to is regarding the future, continuing the path. This incident has repercussions. It has very important implications and effects:

1- Expelling America out of the region: This slogan would not have become a slogan and a declared and serious goal that all the peoples of the region should work if it were not for this historical incident and its magnitude. The Americans created Daesh. Trump talked about Hillary Clinton and Obama, but he did not continue. This means the CIA and the Pentagon, i.e. all the Americans. In other words, the Obama administration created Daesh.

By the way, I remember a funny thing when Daesh appeared. Some Gulf newspapers and this black room in the Gulf worked on a group of magazines and articles published by some media outlets, reporting that a meeting took place on the Iranian-Afghan border with three people attending it – myself, the poor servant, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and Osama Bin Laden – and made the decision to form Daesh. Take a look at the level of emptiness, stupidity, and shallowness of the media in the other axis.

In any case, when Trump said the Americans created Daesh, they created it for objectives related to Syria, Iraq, and the whole region. A senior American general admitted that they created Daesh. This can be found on social media, and the boys always acquire them. Even Clinton herself admit it. But now, I remember this specifically. He is a retired American major general or lieutenant general – God knows. He was a military commander of NATO. He said we can only fight Hezbollah with Daesh. We created Daesh to fight Hezbollah. Daesh was created so that the American army would return to Iraq and occupation would return to Iraq, but in a different way.

This incident, this assassination pushed the Iraqi people to take to the street. One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the Iraqi people came out following the assassination. It demanded the withdrawal of the American forces. Then, there was the very important decision taken by the Iraqi parliament that is following up on its implementation with the Iraqi government. the talk now is that the Americans will withdraw within a year or two. The Americans promised to withdraw in three years. This is a detail that concerns the Iraqis themselves. But the incident put the US forces on the path out of Iraq, and this is being pursued by the Iraqis themselves with all the means they see fit. So, this is a goal, which is related to the next phase.

2- Just retribution: Imam Khamenei clearly and specifically defined the circle of the killers of martyred commanders Hajj Soleimani and Haji Abu Mahdi – those who ordered and those who carried out the assassination. It is true that, first and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the Iranians to avenge Hajj Qassem and a primary responsibility of the Iraqis to avenge Hajj Abu Mahdi. But I want to repeat what I said a few days ago via Al-Mayadeen. This is also the responsibility of every free, honorable, resistance fighter, and loyal person on the planet to be a partner in enforcing this punishment.

3- To continue to defend the states, peoples, and movements of the resistance against all the threats that may arise. We are witnessing a revival of some of these takfiri groups, in Iraq and Syria. Recently, there were dangerous operations carried out by Daesh.

4- Palestine, Al-Quds, and the holy sites. It is our natural right to continue to stand by this dear and generous people.

This is the path, and this axis will continue on this path and this battle. Of course, every person should follow it in accordance with what is appropriate for his country, taking into account the group of national interests. We did that and we still do. This axis is managed by its leaders in different countries with reason, wisdom, and understanding of the circumstances of each other in an accurate and responsible manner, not as some imagine. Had it not been for this situation in the leadership of the axis, all these victories and achievements would not have been accomplished. The defeats that befell the other anxious and dilapidated projects  would not have been possible. We have a horizon, but the others don’t. It is through logic, evidence, proof, and argument and not through pretense and slogan, and giving empty morale. Absolutely not.

This is all I’m going to talk about regarding the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great martyr commanders. With regard to the Lebanese file, I felt that if I were to speak at length, it will take more time. Since I wanted to conclude before seven o’clock, I will, God willing, speak in a few days. We’ll see maybe Thursday or Friday, so there’s a break between the two speeches. It will be a speech solely on Lebanese issues. There are several topics that I’d like to talk about, including the government, the developments and the investigation regarding the port, the Americans interfering in the issue of the port, judicial developments regarding this matter, the living and social situation. I have something to say about the Al-Qard Al-Hasan Association. According to our data, the Americans paid some television stations hundreds of thousands of dollars to only report on the Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association. Since Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association has become the subject of official, political, and media attention, I’d like to talk about this topic. I will also talk about the banks, the depositors, the sanctions, and the political choices. Now we are hearing about political and economic choices. So, God willing, my next talk will be purely about the Lebanese file. Now the demarcation of the border and the situation with the “Israeli” enemy, the resistance, oil and gas, in any case, we have talked today and we have spoken several days ago. But God willing, I will focus on these topics.

I would like to conclude by advising those who are thinking about imposing a siege and sanctions. I asked the brothers here to give me a list. They provided me with a long list that dates back to last year and the year before. In the past few months, in particular, the Trump administration has been working on luring countries to normalize [ties with “Israel”] and others to place Hezbollah on the terror and sanctions lists. The Americans worked on this. There were even countries that we never heard of or countries that are of no value to us, like Slovenia. I don’t want to underestimate any country. But if you asked the Lebanese people, what is Slovenia? Some might say it’s the name of a ship, an island, a hotel. With all due respect to this state, this is the reality. For example, there are small countries in far away corners of the world that no one has heard of and no one knows anything about declaring that they have placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, how do we know about this? From the Americans.

Pompeo would call them and thank them. Good job. God bless you.  So, what’s the story? They placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, they know this does nothing. Its goal is psychological – to make the Lebanese people or Hezbollah feel besieged, that the world is besieging it and rejecting it, the world is placing it on the terror list. This is part of the subjugation battle.

I want to end on a moral note. In our culture, we believe in God Almighty and that the realm of the heavens and earth and everything is in the hand of God Almighty. And we consider that we are doing our taklif [religious obligation]. As His servants, we worship Him. We worship Him during prayers and in jihad. When we obey Him and worship Him, we become His soldiers. When we become His soldiers, we become among His soldiers in this existence and in this universe.

{And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him.}

Even if you besieged us in a small plot of land, we are the ones to feel it. Just for you to know who you are fighting and besieging. We do not feel that we are trapped. We have the land, the mountains, the valleys, the dirt, the rivers, the seas, the oceans, the clouds, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seven heavens, the angels, and what He has created from what we know and what we do not know all on our side. We feel that you are the ones that are trapped. America and its greatness are trapped. Our enemies are all trapped. We are not besieged. He who believes in God cannot feel surrounded even if all the landscape closed down on him.

You are fighting a failed battle that will not lead to any results. Killing us will only increase our awareness, persistence, and determination.  Besieging us will only increase our confidence, dependence, and connection to the true source of strength that creates victory. {And victory is not but from Allah.}

Peace, and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Gen. Suleimani Had Special Relation with Imad Mughniyeh’s Family: Untold Stories النجوى الأخيرة لآل مغنية: وكأنّي ذاهب إلى مقتلي

Source

 January 6, 2021

Suleimani Jihad Mughniyeh
Martyrs Gen. Qassem Suleimani and Jihad Mughniyeh (photo by Al-Akhbar news paper).

Just two days before his assassination on January 3 last year, Lt Gen. Qassem Suleimani visited Lebanon and spent time with the family of top Hezbollah commander martyr Imad Mughniyeh and Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

At dinner, Mughniyeh family told the Iranian general that it had been a long time since his last visit. Gen. Suleimani replied by saying that in the coming period they would go to Iran to meet him due to security concers, Qassem Qassem reports in an article published by Lebanese Daily Al-Akhbar on the first martyrdom anniversary of the Iranian general.

Gen. Suleimani was so calm, all who was present at that unexpected visit described it as strange. “Suleimani was not a normal man to Mughniyeh family, whose house was just like his own house. Throughout long years, Suleimani prayed, ate and wept there. He shared the family’s sorrow and joy,” Qassem says.

Suleimani, Mughniyeh Faced Death Together

The relation between Suleimani and Mughniyeh family started in 1998 when he was tapped to be the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force. Since that year, Suleimani constantly went to the house f Hezbollah’s military commander Imad Mughniyeh who was assassinated by Israeli Mossad in Damascus on February 12, 2008, according to the Al-Akhbar’s article.

The relation between the two commanders became closer after they repeatedly face death together, Qassem says. One of that incidents took place in July War in 2006. At that night, and due to intensified Israeli bombing of Lebanon, Mughniyeh and Suleimani (along with his associate) moved for another place. While moving, Suleimani pulled Mughniyeh by his shoulder addressing him: “Stay back, I will secure the road. You have to stay alive.”

Qassem narrates another incident when Suleimani and Mughniyeh, known for his nom du guerre (Haj Rudwan), noticed a suspected car on their way from Qom to Tehran.  As they changed their way, Mughniyeh’s facial expressions had never changed, the Beirut-based Palestinian journalist cites a story told by Suleimani himself about that incident.

Just few minutes before Mughniyeh’s martyrdom in 2008, Suleimani was accompanying the Hezbollah commander, Qassem cites a report by Ronen Bergman, Israeli investigative journalist. Following the assassination, Suleimani became a member of Mughniyeh family. He got the nickname of “Amo”, which means uncle, and kept on following up their issues. His house in Iran also became a destination for Mughniyeh family, Qassem says.

Relation with Jihad Mughniyeh

Jihad Mughniyeh, Haj Rudwan’s son, had a special relation with Suleimani, Qassem says. During the Syrian war, Jihad worked among the ranks of the Resistance fighters in the occupied Golan. Few days before his martyrdom by an Israeli strike on Golan’s Quneitra in January 2015, Suleimani and Jihad Mughniyeh attended a meeting for the Resistance in Syria. Qassem quotes one of the meeting attendees as saying that Jihad asked Suleimani to go on a mission to the occupied Golan.

“Unlike previous meetings, Gen Suleimani authorized the mission of Jihad who was extremely charming to the extent that no one could say ‘no’,” Qassem quotes the Resistance fighter who attended that meeting in Syria as saying.

After Jihad’s martyrdom, Suleimani headed for the house of Mughniyeh family. He offered Hajjeh Amina Slameh, Imad Mughniyeh’s mother and Jihad’s grandmother, condolences. The Iranian general spent that night at Jihad’s room weeping and calling Allah to grant him martyrdom just like that of Imad and Jihad Mughniyeh, according to Al-Akhbar’s Qassem.

The Last Visit

Going back to Suleimani’s visit to Mughniyeh family two days before his martyrdom last year, Qassem narrates what happened by saying: “Unlike previous visits, Suleimani did not care for time. It was a special night when he stayed long at the house of Mughniyeh family’s house in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh). He told them that he was heading for Iraq. They asked him to refrain from going there. But he replied by saying that he was going by his official capacity and that it was ‘illogical’ that he would be assassinated. However, with the presence of a man like Donald Trump at the White House, there is no place for logic. Then, Suleimani headed to visit Sayyed Nasrallah. After meeting Hezbollah secretary general, Suleimani received a phone call from Fatima Mughniyeh, daughter of Imad and sister of Jihad. During that phone call, Fatima reiterated her call on Suleimani to change his mind and cancel Iraq visit. He replied by saying that the weather was nice and that the moon was shining, using the term: ‘It seems that I’m heading to death’.”

“After midnight on Thursday, January 2, 2020, US fighter jets assassinated Gen. Suleimani near Baghdad International Airport. “Amo” was martyred in the same way as Imad and Jihad Mughniyeh were martyred. The news took Mughniyeh family back to February 12, 2008, the day when the top Hezbollah commander was martyred. Yes, according to that family the loss was the same,” Qassem concludes his article at Al-Akhbar.

Translated and edited by Marwa Haidar

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper

 قاسم س. قاسم الإثنين 4 كانون الثاني 2021

قبل اغتياله بـ72 ساعة، كان قائد «قوّة القدس»، الشهيد قاسم سليماني، في لبنان. أمضى وقته في زيارة لعائلة الشهيد عماد مغنية، والأمين العام لـ «حزب الله»، السيد حسن نصرالله. زيارة أتت بعد فترة من الانقطاع افتقدت في خلالها عائلة مغنية حضوره بينها. يوم الثلاثاء، أي قَبل اغتياله بيومين، طُرق باب البيت. كانت المفاجأة أن «عمّو»، كما يناديه أبناء الشهيد عماد، هو الطارق. وكلمة «عمّو»، في الثقافة الشعبية الإيرانية، مقرونة بالروح دائماً، وهي تعني أن الشخص المنادى بها ينوب عن الأب في غيابه.

ترك استشهاد جهاد أثره على الحاج قاسم، فكان يطلب ممَّن يلتقيهم أن يدعوا له بأن يستشهد بالطريقة نفسها (الأخبار)

على العشاء، قيل له إن غيبته طالت هذه المرّة. أجاب العائلة بأنها، في الفترة المقبلة، ستضطرّ للمجيء إلى إيران لرؤيته، ذلك أن وضعه الأمني لم يعد يسمح له بالتحرّك كثيراً، خصوصاً بعد اكتشاف الخلية التي حاولت اغتياله في مدينة كرمان في تشرين الأول/ أكتوبر 2019. كان سليماني هادئاً جداً. مَن حَضَر الزيارة يصفها بالغريبة. مجرّد مجيئه بدا مفاجئاً، إذ لم يكن متوقّعاً قبل رأس السنة. كعادته، أدّى واجب الصلاة، إلّا أن العائلة، وللمرّة الأولى، صلّت خلفه، واحتفظت من بعدها بسجادة صلاته وسجدته وسُبحته، وهو ما لم يحدث سابقاً أيضاً في مئات المرّات التي صلّى فيها الحاج في بيت آل مغنية. بعد استشهاده، وجدت العائلة تفسيراً لهذا كلّه.

لم يكن سليماني رجلاً عادياً في حياة عائلة مغنية. كان البيت بيته. صلّى وأكل وبكى فيه. عاش مع العائلة أفراحها وأتراحها. هذه العلاقة بين العائلتين بدأت قبل التحرير عام 2000، وتحديداً في عام 1998، عندما تسلّم سليماني قيادة «قوّة القدس»، ومغنية القيادة العسكرية لـ«حزب الله» في لبنان. خلال تلك السنوات، تردّد سليماني إلى منزل «الحاج رضوان». وقتها، كانت العائلة تسمع باسمه، لكنّها لم تكن تعرف مَن يكون. ما كان مؤكداً، أنه صديق عماد مغنية. توطّدت العلاقة بينهما، وأصبحا أقرب بعدما واجها الموت مرّات عدّة في خلال حرب تموز. في إحدى ليالي الحرب، اشتدّ القصف الإسرائيلي وانقطعت الكهرباء عن المنطقة حيث البيت الآمن الذي يحتضن مغنية وزوجته الحاجة سعدى بدر الدين وسليماني ومرافقهما. ارتأى الرجلان المغادرة. امتشقا والمرافق رشاشاتهم، ونزلوا على الدرج المعتم. تقدّمهم مغنية وخلفه سليماني والمرافق وراءهما. لدى وصولهم إلى مدخل المبنى، شدّ سليماني مغنية من كتفه، وقال له: «أنا سأؤمّن لك الطريق، عليك أن تبقى حياً».

في إحدى المرّات، يروي سليماني أنه كان في السيارة مع مغنية متجهَين من قمّ إلى طهران. على الطريق، اشتبه الأخير بسيّارة تلاحقهما، وشعرا بأنهما مهدَّدان بالقتل، فاتّجها صوب الصحراء، وقاد الأول لكيلومترات عدّة قبل العودة إلى الطريق الرئيس. يقول سليماني إن مغنية كان هادئاً جداً: «لم تتغيّر ملامحه أبداً، لا عندما اعتقدنا أننا معرّضان للموت، ولا عندما أصبحنا بأمان». في عام 2008، استُشهد مغنية في تفجير بالقرب من سيّارته. بحسب الكاتب الإسرائيلي، رونين بيرغمان، فإن سليماني كان معه قبل استشهاده بدقائق. وبعد استشهاده، تمنّى الحاج قاسم، الذي سيصبح جزءاً من العائلة، أن يحظى بالشهادة نفسها. لم يعد صديق «الحاج رضوان»، بل أصبح «عمّو» وناب عنه. حرص على متابعة شؤون العائلة، وفي إيران أصبحت الأخيرة جزءاً من عائلة سليماني، وبيته أصبح وجهتها.

في تلك الليلة، قبل استشهاده بـ48 ساعة، طلبت عائلة مغنية من سليماني عدم التوجّه إلى العراق


خلال الحرب السورية، عمل الشهيد جهاد عماد مغنية في الجولان السوري المحتلّ. كثر لم يعرفوا طبيعة عمله. قبل استشهاده بأيّام، التقى جهاد بسليماني، وأطلعه على عمله وما أنجزه، واستأذنه للتوجّه إلى هناك. في العادة، كان يرفض طلبه. لكن في تلك الجلسة، وافق وأذِن له بالذهاب. يقول أحد الذين حضروا اللقاء إن «جهاد سَحَر الحاضرين، ولم نتمكّن من أن نقول له لا على شيء». بعد استشهاد جهاد في قصف إسرائيلي استهدف سيّارته في القنيطرة عام 2015، توجّه سليماني إلى منزل جدّة الشهيد في منطقة الغبيري. بمجرّد دخوله البيت، لم يتمالك نفسه، حتّى إنه أمضى ليلته تلك في غرفة جهاد. جلس على أرضها وبكى. ترك استشهاده أثره على الحاج قاسم، فكان يطلب ممَّن يلتقيهم أن يدعوا له بأن يستشهد بالطريقة نفسها التي استُشهد بها عماد وجهاد مغنية، وهو ما نقلته زينب، ابنة القيادي في «حرس الثورة»، الشهيد حسين محرابي، عندما زار سليماني بيتها في مشهد. تروي عن لسانه: «الحاج عماد وجهاد نالا شهادة مميّزة. استشهدا في السيارة، أي أنّ أحداً لم يكن يجرؤ على مواجهتهما… الشهيد جهاد مغنية، أطلقوا صاروخاً على سيّارته واحترق بشكل كامل ولم يبقَ منه شيء كثير. كم كانت شهادته مميّزة، ادعي لي يا زينب أن أستشهد كما استشهدا».

بالعودة إلى ليلة الثلاثاء، قبل 48 ساعة من استشهاده، أمضى الحاج قاسم ليلته في بيت عائلة مغنية. يقول مَن التقاه إنه، للمرّة الأولى، لم يكترث للوقت. أطال في كلّ شيء؛ في صلاته، في جلسته، حتى إنه عندما همّ بالرحيل عاد وجلس لوقت إضافي، وهو ما لم يكن عادياً. في تلك الليلة، طلب الحاضرون من سليماني عدم التوجّه إلى العراق، فقال لهم إنه مضطر للذهاب إلى بغداد وبعدها سيبقى في طهران. حاول طمأنة العائلة، وقال إنه يزور العراق بصفته الرسمية، ولن يكون من المنطقي استهدافه. لكن مع وجود مجنون كالرئيس الأميركي، دونالد ترامب، في البيت الأبيض، فلا مكان للمنطق. بعد زيارته العائلة، تَوجّه سليماني للقاء السيد حسن نصرالله. عند الباب، ودّع الجميع، ثم عاد وودّعهم مرّة ثانية قبل ركوبه السيارة، وهو أمرٌ استغربته العائلة أيضاً واعتبرته إشارةً إلى شيء ما. بعد لقائه نصرالله، اتّصلت فاطمة، ابنة الشهيد عماد مغنية، بسليماني، مستبقةً توجّهه إلى سوريا. كرّرت تمنّيها عليه بعدم التوجّه إلى العراق، قائلةً إنها ليست مطمَئنّة للزيارة. أجابها: «الطقس جميل والليلة مقمرة وكأني ذاهب إلى مقتلي». ليلة الخميس – الجمعة، في الثالث من كانون الثاني/ يناير الماضي، اغتالت طائرات أميركية قائد «قوّة القدس» قرب مطار بغداد. استُشهد «عمّو» بالطريقة نفسها التي اغتيل بها عماد وجهاد مغنية. بعد وصول نبأ اغتياله إلى عائلة مغنية، عاد التاريخ بها إلى 12 شباط/ فبراير عام 2008. فالخسارة، بالنسبة إليها، كانت نفسها.


في الذكرى السنوية العاشرة لاغتيال الحاج عماد مغنية عام 2018، تحدّث سليماني، للمرّة الأولى، عن الشهيد في احتفال أقيم في طهران. خلال كلمته، كشف سليماني عن الجوانب التي لا يعرفها كثيرون عن الحاج رضوان، متطرّقاً إلى شخصيّته ودوره في المقاومة. بعد الاحتفال، توجّهت عائلة مغنية، ومَن يرافقها، إلى مشهد مع سليماني. ولدى سؤال الحاج قاسم عمّا دفعه إلى الظهور والحديث عن الشهيد، قال، وهو ينظر إلى فاطمة، ابنة مغنية، مبتسماً: «ابنتنا طلبت ذلك». حديثه عن مغنية لم يكن سهلاً بالنسبة إليه، إذ دائماً ما كان يبكيه، مثلما حدث أثناء مقابلته مع التلفزيون الإيراني عن يوميات حرب تموز، والذي دفعه إلى تأجيل تصوير الحلقة إلى اليوم التالي.


بعد وفاة الحاج فايز مغنية، والد الشهيد عماد، في عام 2017، لم يتمكّن سليماني من المشاركة في تشييع «أبي عماد»، بسبب المعارك الدائرة في سوريا والعراق. إلّا أنه لم يغب عن تفاصيل الجنازة. ففي عزّ المعارك، تواصَل مع ابنة أبي عماد سائلاً عن مكان الدفن، وعمّا تحتاج إليه العائلة. بعد فترة، حضر هو وأبو مهدي المهندس إلى لبنان لتعزية المرحومة الحاجة آمنة سلامة، «أم عماد». حاولا التخفيف عنها وعرضا عليها زيارة العراق أو إيران. لكنّ أمّ عماد أوصت القائدَين الشهيدين بالانتباه إلى نفسَيهما، بعدما تكرّر ظهورهما على الخطّ الأمامي للمواجهات في العراق. وقالت لهما: «قبل أن توصياني بالانتباه إلى نفسي، عليكما أنتما أن تنتبها».

The Soleimani legacy: Dr Tim Anderson

Iran Asks the Interpol to Arrest Trump and his Partners for Killing Soleimani

ARABI SOURI 

Trump war crime killing Iran IRGC Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Mohandis in Iraq

Iran submitted documents to the Interpol needed to arrest the outgoing US President Donald Trump for his extrajudicial crime in killing the Iranian General Qassim Soleimani last year.

A spokesman for the Iranian Judicial Authority revealed that the authority sent to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) based in Lyon, France to issue a ‘Red Notice’ locate and provisionally arrest the US president along with all the individuals who helped him commit the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassim Solemani on the 3rd of January 2020 near Baghdad International Airport.

The move might be symbolic as even the former presidents of the USA continue to enjoy the protection of their country’s security apparatuses, especially the so-called ‘Secret Service’, which was enacted by no other than the Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama in 2012 who wanted to protect his friend and former war criminal George W. Bush and himself in the future for life on the account of the US taxpayers and the US personnel.

Interpol may act to fill Iran’s request for a ‘Red Notice,’ which in turn would require individual countries’ to issue warrants for his arrest. Upon issuance, Trump’s movement around the world would be limited in countries that still respect international law.

If, on the other hand, the Interpol chooses to ignore the Iranian request despite the overwhelming evidence, this would limit cooperation by Iran with the international police.

Iranian Minister for Security Mahmoud Alawi stated today that the documents in the crime of assassinating the ‘Martyr General Qassim Soleimani are one thousand pages.’

The Iranian security minister added: ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up the blood of the martyr Qassem Soleimani. Of course, a small slap was dealt with the enemies at Ain al-Asad, but the main slap and harsh revenge remained.’

Mr. Alawi’s was referring to the Iranian bombing of the US military base in Ain al-Asad in western Iraq on 8 January 2020 in retaliation for the US killing of General Soleimani, the bombing caused considerable casualties among the US troops positioned in the base despite the denials from the regime of Donald Trump, later they started revealing that dozens of their soldiers suffered from brain injuries and severe headaches from the incoming precision Iranian missiles!

The Iranian minister said that his country ‘will avenge the killing of its top general especially that the enemy has declared their responsibility for this terrorist act’.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killing and Arbitrary Execution Mrs. Agnes Callamard rightfully stated the US assassinations of the Iranian General Soleimani and the Iraqi top commander Al Muhandis are war crimes.

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Martyr Qasim Soleimani and His Ever-presence in Every Battlefield in Yemen

Martyr Qasim Soleimani and His Ever-presence in Every Battlefield in Yemen

January 05, 2021

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

And never presume those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. On the contrary, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provisions. (Quran, 3:169)

One year ago, Sardar Soleimani, the Commander of Qods Force of the Islamic Revolution was killed in the hands of personalities that are in a tight competition with themselves to win first place in wretchedness and virulence. On the occasion of the 1st anniversary of Sardar Soleimani’s martyrdom, the leader of the Ansarullah Party and the resistance group in Yemen, Abulmalik Al-Houthi sent an official letter the content of which is quite noteworthy and significant.

I have chosen to translate that letter for the Saker blog for three specific reasons. First, to remember Sardar Soleimani’s martyrdom by highlighting Yemeni people’s significant role in regional resistance against the most wretched and virulent characters in the world. Second, to give a glimpse of how Sardar Soleimani has influenced, in life and in death, some of the most prominent personalities and movements in the Resistance camp. Third, to provide some insight into one of the most significant doctrines in Shi’a Islam: that of Mahdawiyyat that relates to notable events of the End of Time.

It is clear that the words and titles Abdulmalik Al-Houthi has used in his letter to describe Sardar Soleimani’s life, the conditions surrounding his martyrdom, his killers, and his role after his martyrdom were carefully chosen and are quite loaded with meaning. The specific verses of Quran he recites, too, carry significant messages especially for those who are deeply informed about Shi’a Muslim’s history and the prophecies regarding Mahdawiyyat signs and symbols in Islam.

Shi’a follows the developments in Yemen with a special interest and care because it is, according to reliable Shi’a sources, from Yemen that the movement and push against world injustices and oppressive transgressors begins its very final march to the heart of the army of the transgressors. Their activities, it is stated, will be supported by those of the Iranian Shi’a, God Willing.

Flag of Iran held side-by-side the most widely-used flag of the Houthies.

In the series regarding Imamat and Wilayat Faqih, I will, Inshallah, cover the concepts of Mahdawiyyat and End of Time according to Shi’a. For now, the Al-Houthi Leader of Yemen’s letter is important to review.

 “Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim.”

“God’s Peace be upon the Great Prophet and his Pure Household.”

“God Almighty states in Quran, ‘Among the believers, there are men who remained truthful to the pledge they made with Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration’ [Surah 33 (Al-Ahzab), Verse 23]. Says the Truth, God, the Exalted, the Great.’”

“After citing this verse, I am remembering the martyr of the Islamic Ummah and the great warrior, Haj Qasim Soleimani (May God, the Exalted, be satisfied with him), upon whom God’s blessings were bestowed so that he is put side-by-side these believing men [refers to the ones singled out in the Quranic Verse]. The believing men whose most important trait is their sincerity and truthfulness with God, the Exalted.”

“Martyr Haj Qasim Soleimani, while in waiting (wa minhum man yantazir), was resolute and steadfast. The sincerity of Martyr Soliemani relationship with God, the Exalted, was evident in his strong will, his tireless efforts, and his dedication in the path of God, the Exalted. He was an ever-present warrior of Islam in every field and in every battle zone with his strong belief and his unwavering resolve.”

“It was God’s Favor and Blessing to have Martyr Haj Qasim Soleimani’s path in life, from his youth, to be an excellent soldier with belief, strong ethics, and highly effective in the path of God, the Exalted, and to serve with utmost sincerity and loyalty and without interruption, under the flag of Wilayat of Imam Khomeini (May God be satisfied with him) and subsequently under Imam Khamenei (May God protect him).”

“Martyr Haj Qasim Soleimani never tired in this path. The more time passed, the more intense his activities and the greater his impact became. He excelled in belief and sacrifice one step after another.”

“He did not alter his stance and no one could force him to do so because he was the true flag bearer of sincerity just as Imam Ali (Allahu-Salam) states, ‘loyalty and sincerity are twins.’ Just as God, the Exalted, states, ‘they never turn their backs to their promises and pledges.’ And this is the core issue in resistance and in steadfastness under all conditions and along the way. People of this caliber are neither influenced by material and non-material temptations and lose their true color nor do they waiver when faced with challenges and difficulties, nor do they succumb to attrition under ongoing sufferings and obstacles, nor do they become unsteady with talks and bickering of hopeless backbiters.”

“People like these are never afflicted with doubt in their stance and with their adherence to Wilayat and their grasp onto the Wilayat of Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhu-wa-Allihi-wa-Sallam) and his Pure Household. Haj Qasim had borrowed Ali’s (AS) bravery, Hussain’s (AS) sacrifice, and Abbas’s (AS) strong will and endurance. This brave warrior is a student of Sayydu-Shoahda’s [Imam Hussain] school of thought and he was, in his exemplary struggles, sacrifice, bravery, and humbleness, OF Hussain.”

“However, as he lived in the waiting phase (wa minhum man yantazir) and when he began transitioning into the state of martyrdom in the path of God, the Exalted, (wa minhum man qaza nuhbah), I must reiterate this point that Haj Qasim (May God be satisfied with him) achieved a rather special kind of martyrdom: For, the order for his killing was issued by the Yazid of our time, that is Trump and the US, and the operatives of this order were his criminal soldiers who were just like Shimr.”

“Haj Qasim offered his soul to God, the Exalted, and his body was torn into pieces just like that of Ali Akbar (AS). And it is here when our beloved sister Zaynab (SA) states, ‘O, God, please accept this sacrifice from us.’”

“Haj Qasim (May God be satisfied with him) become immortal in history just as he achieved the company of the Great Prophet Muhammad (SAWAW) and other True Prophets and the Sidiqin [The Truthful] and the martyrs and the good-doers regarding God’s Grace and Blessings. And just as he become immortal in the hearts of all free people of the world and the future generations. Just as he is, right now, present with his impacts and roles in every scene and every battlefield alongside us. He is present among us.”

“It was God’s favor upon him to make him a soldier among God’s, the Exalted, soldiers. He possessed one of the highest degrees of insight, intelligence, authenticity, sacrifice, and humbleness just as he was playing a significant role in every scene and every battlefield. Just as he achieve deliverance with his special kind of martyrdom. The sort of martyrdom that demonstrated how effective and impactful he was and how furious the oppressive transgressors were with him.”

“God, the Exalted, granted him the blessing of jihad so that he could, as God’s, the Exalted, soldier to raise the flag of Islam properly and just as it is befitting of devotees of Imam Hussain (AS). Martyrdom in the path of God is honor and dignity for us.”

“O, God Almighty, accept this righteous warrior, Haj Qasim Soleimani, next to You and assign him the most excellent position among the martyrs and grant us the favor to be followers of his path! Sallallahu-wa-Sallam ala Abdihi wa Rasulihi Muhmmad wa Alihi-Tahirin.”

Abdul-Malik Badriddin Al-Huthi,

11 Jamadi-al-Awwal; 6th Day 1399 [January 2, 2020]

May God grant us, too, His Favor to be in the same path as Shahid Sardar Qasim Soleimani, an authentic Shi’a of Imam Ali (AS). Peace be upon you.

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder.

The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of war.

Not only the drone strike at Baghdad airport, directly ordered by President Trump, was unilateral, unprovoked and illegal: it was engineered as a stark provocation, to detonate an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by American “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. Call it a perverse form of double down, reversed false flag.

The imperial Mighty Wurlitzer spun it as a “targeted killing”, a pre-emptive op squashing Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.

False. No evidence whatsoever. And then, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of his Parliament, offered the ultimate context: Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission, on a regular flight between Damascus and Baghdad, involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as mediator, at the request of President Trump.

So the imperial machine – in complete mockery of international law – assassinated a de facto diplomatic envoy.

The three top factions who pushed for Soleimani’s assassination were US neo-cons – supremely ignorant of Southwest Asia’s history, culture and politics – and the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, who ardently believe their interests are advanced every time Iran is attacked. Trump could not possibly see The Big Picture and its dire ramifications: only what his major Israeli-firster donor Sheldon Adelson dictates, and what Jared of Arabia Kushner whispered in his ear, remote-controlled by his close pal Muhammad bin Salman (MbS).

The armor of American “prestige”

The measured Iranian response to Soleimani’s assassination was carefully calibrated to not detonate vengeful imperial “deterrence”:

precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon received advance warning.

Predictably, the run-up towards the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination had to degenerate into intimations of US-Iran once again on the brink of war.

So it’s enlightening to examine what the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1399/10/13/2423366/ told Lebanon’s Al Manar network: “The US and the Zionist regime [Israel] have not brought security to any place and if something happens here (in the region) and a war breaks out, we will make no distinction between the US bases and the countries hosting them.”

Hajizadeh, expanding on the precision missile strikes a year ago, added, “We were prepared for the Americans’ response and all our missile power was fully on alert. If they had given a response, we would have hit all of their bases from Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf and even their warships in the Indian Ocean.”

The precision missile strikes on Ain al-Assad, a year ago, represented a middle-rank power, enfeebled by sanctions, and facing a huge economic/financial crisis, responding to an attack by targeting imperial assets that are part of the Empire of Bases. That was a global first – unheard of since the end of WWII. It was clearly interpreted across vast swathes of the Global South as fatally piercing the decades-old hegemonic armor of American” prestige”.

So Tehran was not exactly impressed by two nuclear-capable B-52s recently flying over the Persian Gulf; or the US Navy announcing the arrival of the nuclear-powered, missile loaded USS Georgia in the Persian Gulf last week.

These deployments were spun as a response to an evidence-free claim that Tehran was behind a 21-rocket attack against the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The (unexploded) 107mm caliber rockets – by the way marked in English, not Farsi – can be easily bought in some underground Baghdad souk by virtually anybody, as I have seen for myself in Iraq since the mid-2000s.

That certainly does not qualify as a casus belli – or “self-defense” merging with “deterrence”. The Centcom justification actually sounds like a Monty Python sketch: an attack “…almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.” Note that “almost certainly” is code for “we have no idea who did it”.

How to fight the – real – war on terror

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did take the trouble (see attached tweet) to warn Trump he was being set up for a fake casus belli – and blowback would be inevitable. That’s a case of Iranian diplomacy being perfectly aligned with the IRGC: after all, the whole post-Soleimani strategy comes straight from Ayatollah Khamenei.

And that leads to the IRGC’s Hajizadeh once again establishing the Iranian red line in terms of the Islamic Republic’s defense: “We will not negotiate about the missile power with anyone” – pre-empting any move to incorporate missile reduction into a possible Washington return to the JCPOA. Hajizadeh has also emphasized that Tehran has restricted the range of its missiles to 2,000 km.

My friend Elijah Magnier, arguably the top war correspondent across Southwest Asia in the past four decades, has neatly detailed the importance of Soleimani.

Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across vast swathes of the Global South is firmly aware of how Soleimani led the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he was instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

Zeinab Soleimani, the impressive General’s daughter, has profiled the man, and the sentiments he inspired. And Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayed Nasrallah, in an extraordinary interview, stressed Soleimani’s “great humility”, even “with the common people, the simple people.”

Nasrallah tells a story that is essential to place Soleimani’s modus operandi in the real – not fictional – war on terror, and deserves to be quoted in full:

“At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shi’ism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic seminars], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU].” This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.”

Orientalism, all over again

A former commander under Soleimani that I met in Iran in 2018 had promised me and my colleague Sebastiano Caputo that he would try to arrange an interview with the Maj Gen – who never spoke to foreign media. We had no reason to doubt our interlocutor – so until the last Baghdad minute we were in this selective waiting list.

As for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed side by side with Soleimani in the Baghdad drone strike, I was part of a small group who spent an afternoon with him in a safe house inside – not outside – Baghdad’s Green Zone in November 2017. My full report is here.

Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, reflecting on the assassination, told me, “the most important thing is that the Western view on the situation is very Orientalist. They assume that Iran has no real structures and that everything is dependent on individuals. In the West an assassination doesn’t destroy an administration, company, or organization. Ayatollah Khomeini passed away and they said the revolution was finished. But the constitutional process produced a new leader within hours. The rest is history.”

This may go a long way to explain Soleimani geopolitics. He may have been a revolutionary superstar – many across the Global South see him as the Che Guevara of Southwest Asia – but he was most of all a quite articulated cog of a very articulated machine.

The adjunct President of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amirabdollahian, told Iranian network Shabake Khabar that Soleimani, two years before the assassination, had already envisaged an inevitable “normalization” between Israel and Persian Gulf monarchies.

At the same time he was also very much aware of the Arab League 2002 position – shared, among others, by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: a “normalization” cannot even begin to be discussed without an independent – and viable – Palestinian state under 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital.

Now everyone knows this dream is dead, if not completely buried. What remains is the usual, dreary slog: the American assassination of Soleimani, the Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless, relatively low-intensity Israeli warfare against Iran fully supported by the Beltway, Washington’s illegal occupation of parts of northeast Syria to grab some oil, the perpetual drive for regime change in Damascus, the non-stop demonization of Hezbollah.

Beyond the Hellfire

Tehran has made it very clear that a return to at least a measure of mutual respect between US-Iran involves Washington rejoining the JCPOA with no preconditions, and the end of illegal, unilateral Trump administration sanctions. These parameters are non-negotiable.

Nasrallah, for his part, in a speech in Beirut on Sunday, stressed,

“one of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of US forces from the region. Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set US troops on the track of leaving Iraq.”

This may be wishful thinking, because the military-industrial-security complex will never willingly abandon a key hub of the Empire of Bases.

More important is the fact that the post-Soleimani environment transcends Soleimani.

The Axis of Resistance – Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hezbollah – instead of collapsing, will keep getting reinforced.

Internally, and still under “maximum pressure” sanctions, Iran and Russia will be cooperating to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company.

Iran is increasingly solidified as the key node of the New Silk Roads in Southwest Asia: the Iran-China strategic partnership is constantly revitalized by FMs Zarif and Wang Yi, and that includes Beijing turbo-charging its geoeconomic investment in South Pars – the largest gas field on the planet.

Iran, Russia and China will be involved in the reconstruction of Syria – which will also include, eventually, a New Silk Road branch: the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Eastern Mediterranean railway.

All that is an interlinked, ongoing process no Hellfires are able to burn.

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