TEHRAN – The assassination of senior Iranian anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani as an act of U.S. state terrorism ignited much of the world with anti-American anger, according to an American writer and journalist.
Yuram Abdullah Weiler, a relentless critic of U.S. global hegemonic aspirations, also says the assassination of General Soleimani strengthened the resistance front.
“Hajj Qassem’s martyrdom served to reenergize the Axis of Resistance, and reaffirm its goal of expelling the U.S. occupying forces from the region,” Weiler says in an interview with Press TV.
Last week Iran, Iraq, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip marked the third year that General Soleimani and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were martyred in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s international airport.
General Soleimani was considered a legendary commander in the fight against terrorism. He also played a significant role in empowering the Hezbollah resistance movement that shattered the myth of the invincibility of the Israeli army in the 33-day war in 2006.
“His skills as a military strategist are legendary; in particular, his ability to form powerful resistance movements, combining seasoned combat fighters with political activists, as was the case with Hezbollah in Lebanon,” the engineer-turned writer and political critic notes.
Following is the text of the interview with Weiler.
It’s been three years since the terror assassination by the U.S. of General Hajj Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport. What shifts in the West Asian geopolitical scene have resulted as a consequence of his martyrdom at the hands of the U.S.?
First of all, my deepest condolences to the family of General Soleimani, his associates in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and all the Iranian people on this solemn occasion. Hajj Qassem was a remarkable man, rising from a construction worker as a youth to the top commander of the IRGC in an amazingly short time. His skills as a military strategist are legendary; in particular, his ability to form powerful resistance movements, combining seasoned combat fighters with political activists, as was the case with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The immediate effect of the assassination of General Soleimani was to induce shock throughout the region that the arrogant power would actually carry out a drone strike within a sovereign state targeting not only Hajj Qassem, but also Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi government official who headed the Popular Mobilization Front. Predictably, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel U.S. troops, and subsequently moved to strengthen its ties to its neighbor, Iran. Likewise, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen were also led in that direction. Widespread protests against the assassination broke out in over 100 countries around the world including Iraq, Lebanon, Kashmir, India, Philippines and Pakistan, which refused to allow the U.S. to launch any attack on Iran from within its borders. There were even protests in 80 cities within the United States. In short, the assassination unleashed a firestorm of anti-U.S. sentiment around the world.
The long-term effect of the killing of General Soleimani was to elevate Iran’s regional status, strengthen its ties with both state and non-state actors in West Asia, and expand the reach of the Islamic Republic’s soft power worldwide. Hajj Qassem’s martyrdom served to reenergize the Axis of Resistance, and reaffirm its goal of expelling the U.S. occupying forces from the region.
How do these geopolitical events contrast with Washington’s expectations in carrying out this illegal, sanguinary act? What did U.S. leaders hope to gain by this act of state terrorism?
Donald Trump pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 and reinstituted all sanctions and then added to them as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign, which was intended to secure a more stringent and restricting agreement with Iran. By December 2019, it was clear that this ill-conceived effort had failed to achieve any results and, in fact, had pushed Iran eastward into stronger relations with China, so the pathetic U.S. potentate jumped at the scheme to assassinate Soleimani that was presented by then-U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton. Pompeo was so delusionary that he claimed the tens of thousands of Iraqis mourning the killing of Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were actually “dancing in the streets” in celebration. So as mentioned above instead of forcing Iran into further concessions, the act of US state terrorism simply ignited much of the world with anti-American anger.
Is there a connection between the terror assassination of General Qassem and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ever-increasing significance as a regional power to be reckoned with?
The connection appears most strongly in the manner the initial retaliation was carried out by Tehran. The missile strike on Ain al-Assad air base was a carefully calculated response, painstakingly calculated to demonstrate the capability of Iran’s missile defenses and, at the same time, to show regional powers that Iran—not the US—is the country that can be depended on to maintain stability and security in the Persian Gulf area. Iran’s missiles struck Ain al-Assad with such pinpoint accuracy that U.S. officials were aghast. One Iraqi source claimed that some aircraft stored there were literally split in two by the missiles. The attack clearly demonstrated Iran’s technical competency and operational ability. For his part, Trump, upon comprehending Iran’s ballistic missile prowess, immediately backed down from his plans to escalate militarily.
What effect has the martyrdom of General Hajj Qassem had on the Islamic world? Have we seen any amount of unifying and strengthening of resolve?
As previously mentioned, the martyrdom of General Hajj Qassem at the hands of the U.S. hegemon brought out demonstrators around the world and specifically in Muslim-majority countries such as Lebanon, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. His embodiment of the principles of the Islamic Revolution was unparalleled; books on the Islamic concepts known as the “School of Martyr Soleimani” have been translated into several languages including Russian. The effect has to bring renewed hope to Muslims everywhere who are suffering under the oppression of global arrogance.
Any final thoughts on General Soleimani’s martyrdom? How has this heartrending event affected you personally?
A: When I learned of General Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s martyrdom at the hands of the U.S. leaders, I felt such outrage that bankrupts my vocabulary of descriptive adjectives. I immediately began to write, and authored several articles condemning this American atrocity. In the living room of my home I placed a portrait of Hajj Qassem to remind myself of his upright example and vowed to do what I could to live up to those Islamic principles of the martyr’s school of thought.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/480571/Gen-Soleimani-s-martyrdom-reenergized-Axis-of-Resistance-American