Who is Qassem Suleimani?


[The program is about Qassem Suleimani. His life before and after revolution is highlighted. His role in Iran-Iraq war and Syrian war and his role in Quds Force are some of the issues addressed.]

HOST defines terrorism and its different types: Hello. Have you ever thought about the meaning of the word ‘terror’? Terror means fear, and creating horror and fear [among people]. And terrorist is somebody who creates this fear and horror. But how? By killing, by committing crimes, by killing innocent people. But are you familiar with familiar with organized terrorism? It is a kind of terrorism that is supported by an organization. Let’s go further. Are you familiar with state terrorism? It is a kind of terrorism supported not by an organization, but by a state and a government. Don’t be surprised. Such a thing exists.

HOST introduces Quds Force as a terrorist organization: In Iran, under the mullahs’ regime, there is a force called Quds Force, assigned to expeditionary operations. Now who is the leader of this Quds Force? A revolutionary guard called Qassem Suleimani.

HOST points to different titles of Suleimani:  Shadow General, Phantom Commander, Brigadier-General, the General, Haj Qassem, are all titles given to Qassem Suleimani. In today’s program, we want to get to know this terrorist Brigadier-General of the regime.

NARRATOR discusses Suleimani’s early life: Most of the sources on the Internet say that Qassem Suleimani was born on 11 March 1957. But in an interview, he introduced himself as born in 1958, in Qanat-e-Malek village in Rabor County of Kerman Province. After finishing his primary education, he went to Kerman, and started working on construction sites. In 1973, he started to work as a contractual worker in Kerman Water Organization, and was employed there until the victory of anti-monarchy revolution.

HOST continues with Suleimani joining IRGC: Nowhere—in any written texts, audio and video sources, or in his interviews—is it mentioned what his activities were in serving the anti-monarchy revolution. Even though he was at the right age at that time, there was no sign of him. Now let’s see how he joined the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). He himself said that he had joined the honorary IRGC on 22 May 1980. It seems that after a 45-day military training, they had deployed him to Kurdistan to take part in suppressing the Kurds. Well, record of participating in suppression helped in his rise in IRGC. Usually, those who had taken part in suppressing Kurdistan had good chances for promotion in IRGC.

NARRATOR talks of Suleimani going to Iran-Iraq war: Qassem Suleimani returned from suppressing city of Mahabad, when it was 10 months into the war [Iran-Iraq war]. Upon his return, he was immediately appointed as the head of IRGC Quds Garrison in Kerman. At first, he was active in mobilizing and training forces and deploying the youths to the anti-nation war, until the time when he himself headed a company to city of Susangerd.

HOST continues: Qassem Suleimani himself said that he had gone to war on a 15-day mission, but had stayed there to the end of the war. His companions said that with his speeches before the operations, he used to prepare the revolutionary guards and Basij forces for walking on land mines, and, in short, getting them killed. And he caused deaths of many people. In the anti-nation war, he took part in many operations, and had a significant role in getting the youths from Kerman— whom he had then organized as Sarallah Division—killed.

NARRATOR points to Suleimani after Iran-Iraq war and formation of Quds Force: Qassem Suleimani, after the anti-nation war was finished, still remained the commander of 41st Sarallah Division, and in the name of fighting narcotic drugs, was suppressing people in Kerman. He was appointed as commander of Quds Force by Khamenei’s mandate.

HOST focuses on Quds Forces: Well, what is Quds Force? And what is its philosophy? When Khamenei became the supreme leader, unlike Khomeini, he didn’t have the leverage of anti-nation war any longer. So he had to do something to advance export of reactionary ideas. More than a year later, Khamenei ordered IRGC to form Quds Force, and officially cross the geographical borders. Of course, before then from the beginning of anti-nation war, the IRGC commanders had formed Lebanon Division and Badr 9, but majority of its members were not Iranian, and were from, say, Afghanistan and Iraq. But this Quds Force had an Iranian, or better to say mullah’s, identity.

NARRATOR highlights Quds Force’s financial sources: Quds Force is independent from military and non-military organizations. Qassem Suleimani, as the commander of this Force, is only accountable to Khamenei. He even earns his own income independently, and does not rely on IRGC’s or the government’s budget. Defectors from IRGC have mentioned that drug trafficking is one of the sources of Quds Force’s incomes. Dexter Filkins, in his investigative report for the New Yorker, has quoted Iraqi and American officials as saying that one of the income sources of Qassem Suleimani at that year had been the money that Maleki had paid him—about $20 million per day. He wrote that according to American officials, Qassem Suleimani had been the key figure in U.S.-Iran negotiations about Iraq and Afghanistan, and had been somehow always in contact with Americans and Iraqis.

HOST continues: Well, Qassem Suleimani’s terrorist activities in Iraq is quite obvious: daily explosions, roadside bombs, organized massacres, death squads, and many other crimes. But Syria.

NARRATOR mentions Suleimani’s and Quds Force’s role in Syrian war: even though videos of arresting Quds Force men in Syria were repeatedly released, Iranian regime kept denying the presence of its forces in Syria. But with escalation of conflicts in Syria, Quds Force’s mercenaries officially appeared in Syria, and its peak was the release of this picture. Based on published documents, Ilaf website wrote that in last days of Aleppo’s occupation, Qassem Suleimani was personally present there. His released picture also confirmed that. Ilaf adds forces that prevented evacuation of citizens– by creating obstacles in their transference and attacking their files– were under the control of Quds Forces, particularly Qassem Suleimani.

HOST goes on: But why should such a force exist to atrociously carry out massacres? His own response is as follows:

NARRATOR asserts: In a speech for students in Haghani Seminary School in Qom, Suleimani said in 22 May 2011 that “social revolutions in Middle East and North Africa have created the best opportunity for our revolution.” He continued: “Today Iran’s defeat or victory is not in cities of Mehran and Khorramshahr. Our borders are far beyond that.”

HOST concludes: If mullahs’ exporting terrorism fails, that will be a nail in the coffin of velayat-e-faqih’s regime—a fact that has been admitted by the regime’s leaders. Qassem Suleimani is one of the big agents of Khamenei, who is advancing his [Khamenei’s] ideology militarily outside the geographical borders of Iran. He is a criminal who is hard to top. He doesn’t care for women and children, elderlies and the youth—this evil creature made for massacres and crimes. The time of this program for introducing such a monster is very short. And we just mentioned the significant issues. But anyway, all these criminals are the same: the filthy agents of velayat-e-faqih.