Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed on Donald Trump’s personal order. The president admitted doing so. Trump acted because American intelligence reported that the Iranian general was highly likely to organize an attack on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to an interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Soleimani’s goal was to take Americans hostage, something like the drama which involved 66 American hostages in 1979 who were held for 444 days in Tehran. According to most reports, Trump decided to take this cowboy step in order to avoid the possibility he would fail in his November 2020 reelection bid. The diplomatic hostage crisis in Iran years ago destroyed Jimmy Carter’s presidency. U.S. domestic policy is organically linked to events around the world. It has its own foreign policy projection at every point on Earth. At least until now. Naturally, until now, the U.S. has been the undisputed global hegemon with interests everywhere. The French would say that still, mainly, in Washington, where the decisions are made by the powerful, they still call the shots.
Yes. The Americans executed a diplomat and a key commander of the Iranian guards, the head of the Quds Force, extrajudicially and in a third-party country. The United States has definitively and irrevocably buried the concept of international law. Washington crossed the unspoken “red line” of the intelligence agencies so as not to encroach on the purview of well-known intelligence officials. After Soleimani’s death, it was revealed that he was the second most important person in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It may be that he was the person who commanded most of the ruling elite in the Middle East. In Damascus, diplomatic protocol ranked him above Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. It is unlikely that this hierarchy made Zarif comfortable in Syria in Soleimani’s company. In addition, he was a favorite of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some people in Iran admired and feared Soleimani, but there were others who disliked him.
The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that Trump was persuaded to issue a warrant for Soleimani’s murder after several months of discussion with Pompeo. One of the newspapers acts as a mouthpiece for the Democrats and the other for the Republicans, and now both are tribunes of the deep state.
The current domestic political situation in the United States is extremely dramatic. Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a deadly battle. The fighting has no rules, the law of the jungle governs, and it has now completely moved onto the international stage. In the U.S., it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a generational change in politicians. Famous figures like Trump (73 years old), Bernie Sanders (78 years old), Joe Biden (77 years old), Nancy Pelosi (79 years old) and Hillary Clinton (72 years old) have long since waded deeply into the age of senior citizens. This is the year of the presidential primaries, and we can expect surprises. If Trump’s pending impeachment trial goes the Democrats’ way, then the Republicans are likely to bring forward and nominate the “young” Pence, who is only 60 years old.
Last year, during one of Israel’s air strikes on Damascus, Tel Aviv announced that Soleimani had been killed. The general was hated by the Israelis, but the joy the Jews experienced was brief. Soon after, Soleimani appeared at a funeral ceremony in Tehran. Today, after aggressive rhetoric from Trump and the ayatollah was intended primarily for a domestic audience, nothing special happened. One is left with the feeling that there is a hotline between Washington and Tehran. Suddenly, both sides declared that they did not want the conflict to escalate. The Iranian armed forces launched its retaliation from the largest U.S. base in Iraq, primarily aimed to send a specific message to Washington. It was meant to show the American generals that Iran has high-precision missiles, which was reported by The Washington Post. The signal was sent and received! Iran’s military potential is disproportionate to that of the United States. But it is enough to cause unacceptable loss of life for American society.
The use of an Iranian missile strike against Israel doesn’t do Trump any favors, either. He will lose the powerful Jewish lobby in the United States, which mostly supports Republicans. There is also another important aspect: Democrats are the one who engage in dynamic dialogue with Tehran. Barack Obama contributed to the conclusion of the nuclear deal with Iran. After that, Iranian oil appeared on the European market. With Trump’s arrival, the peace came to an end and the Europeans stopped buying Iranian oil. Tehran and the Iranians will not benefit from Trump’s reelection.
In other words, Soleimani toyed with Trump’s political enemies. He could have organized more than just an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Moreover, with his capability in the Middle East, he could have created a huge headache for Trump during the primaries. Soleimani had the potential to deliver a devastating, preelection blow to Trump’s image and cause him to lose the vote. Physically removing Soleimani can be summed up as a preventive measure by the incumbent president. Whether this noisy, cowboy like and very public removal with a drone was the best thing for Trump’s image is another question. It’s definitely a mistake, which the president’s closest circle dragged him into, mainly Secretary of State Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Why? Pompeo is a prominent representative of the deep state in the United States. Before Pompeo he became CIA director, he began his career at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, founded in 1967 by Edward Williams. The founder himself is known in the U.S. as a lawyer who defended a number of the Genovese family bosses, whose capo was “Lucky” Luciano.
The American aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln was pulled from the Persian Gulf and sent to the Mediterranean, beyond the range of Iranian’s high-precision missiles, the U.S. having prepared the aircraft for an attack on Iran. Its commander, an American naval officer, is an ethnic Iranian. Americans love to manage the propaganda details in such cases. Two hours before the Iranian missile attack on the U.S. military base in Baghdad, the Iraqis were notified. They, in turn, informed the Americans, and the U.S. pulled its soldiers and officers from the military base.
Both sides announced a convenient number of casualties after the Iranian missile strike, based on their domestic political needs. The Americans announced that there were no fatalities on their side, and the Iranians boasted at home that they had killed 80 American troops and wounded 200. Naturally, two questions arise. The first is why the American anti-missile defense system of the attacked military base did not intercept any Iranian missiles. The second, no less interesting question is, which satellite navigation system was used by ultraprecise Iranian missiles equipped with modern optoelectronics. Obviously, it was not an American GPS navigation system. It was, then, either the Russian GLONASS or the Chinese BeiDou system. There is no specific information on these sensitive issues. In general, the Iranian missile attack was staged as a performance before an audience, which imitated the scenario that Trump played out in April 2017 in the presence of his Chinese guest, Xi Jinping. Back then, American cruise missiles struck the Shayrat Airport in Syria “in response to” a staged statement of a chemical attack on the Syrian city of Khan Shaykhun.
Soleimani has been described as an Iranian general, diplomat and statesman. Yes, he was. He built dense networks of Shiite armed groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and several other regions where the majority of residents are Shiite. In recent years, the world has often commented on Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s neo-Ottomanism and his desire to restore the influence of the Ottoman Empire. But Soleimani worked alongside him. He methodically tried to restore the Persian Empire, which some analysts call the “Shia Crescent” or “Shia Arc.” There is one peculiarity among Shia Muslims. Shia Arabs first perceive themselves as Shia, and then as Arabs. Allah made a “joke” to himself, and the Middle Eastern territories rich in oil and natural gas were inhabited by Shiites, including those in Saudi Arabia. The Iranian region of Khuzestan, where 80% of Tehran’s hydrocarbon reserves are concentrated, is populated by Arabs.
The Iranian political and economic project reached a dead end and did not succeed. Iran was not able to create an intensive economy, but only an expansive one. Development can only be achieved by restoring the Persian Empire. Today’s Iran itself is a small empire, with 64 ethnic groups who coexist with each other. Some have compared Soleimani to the great Saladin. Time will show whether the general will be even more dangerous as a martyr than he was while alive as the head of the Quds Force.
Soleimani built a huge economic empire. He controlled a huge flow of money. Shadowy schemes for selling Iranian oil passed through his control. His subordinate Shiite armed groups in the Middle East were outsourced. After the attack on the twin towers in Manhattan in 2001, Soleimani coordinated Iranian cooperation with the Americans in Afghanistan. U.S. intelligence officers and diplomats knew him from the time of Hajj Qassem. Quds networks in Afghanistan acquired intelligence information that Soleimani provided to the United States. After the Americans entered Afghanistan, there was a boom in heroin production. In 2017, cultivated areas of opium poppies reached 328,000 hectares (approximately 810,500 acres), which is a record for the entire history of the country. During this period, Soleimani, with the help of the Quds force, supervised and controlled the Western Afghan territories bordering Iran, territories swarming with drug traffickers. As heirs to the British Empire, the British have much better information about the situation that has existed there throughout the centuries, about the situation, tribes and tribal leaders in Afghanistan, compared to information the Americans have. The British base in located in Bastion camp, Helmand Province, and is strategically located for Afghan drug trafficking. Helmand Province, a British area of responsibility, contains an incredilby high number of heroin labs. In 2007 British, American and Afghan militaries assumed control from the Taliban in Musa Qala District, Helmand Province. According to government sources, more than 300 drug labs were found and destroyed there. Heroin labs don’t need sophisticated equipment. It is necessary to regularly supply acid anhydride, which is not available in Afghanistan and which is smuggled mainly from Iran.
Where there are drugs, there is also a huge trade in drug dollars. Soleimani was well acquainted with drug schemes and how to launder drug money through the banks. He was also familiar with the export channels of drug trade. Without Soleimani this “business” would not have been able to function, as he controlled 80% of the world’s drug trafficking.
Iran has been subjected to sanctions for almost 20 years, and Iranian oil has been primarily purchased by China. Soleimani converted Chinese yuans into dollars through shadowy schemes and certain banks. One thing is clear: In today’s globalizing world, in order to have the financial and political capabilities that the murdered Soleimani had, it is necessary to have contacts and business partners in major world capitals, where he was greeted at the highest government level in many of those places.
Soleimani’s murder blew up the entire political elite in the Middle East and elsewhere. The shock reverberated like a Mexican wave in major world capitals from London to Moscow. Soleimani left a will, and the first thing his lawyers did was to delay its release for six months. Once the Iranian general’s business dealings become publicly available, many of his business partners are likely to encounter serious legal problems, not to mention damage to their image. Banks may collapse mainly in Europe and Asia.
There will be interesting events in six months’ time if the Americans do not start to shoot heroes who appear in Soleimani’s will before then. The general’s archive is likely to have been copied long ago, and it likely that interested parties are currently studying it carefully.