By Sadegh Vafaei

A review of General Soleimani’s thoughts

January 3, 2023 - 16:31
Why Iran entered Syria and the why martyrdom is different from imprudence

TEHRAN- The book titled Zolfaghar written by Ali Akbar Mozdabadi, published after Hajj Qassem Soleimani was martyred, includes some of his memories and quotes. This article is written based on Zolfaghar as well as other sources on the third anniversary of General Soleimani’s assassination.

Martyrdom must be demarcated from imprudence

A few years ago, General Soleimani gave a speech to Iranian and non-Iranian defenders who liberated of Abu Kamal from Daesh. The speech was similar to Ahmad Motevaselian’s speech after the Fathol Mobin Operation.  Ahmad Motevaselian was the commander of 27th Mohammad Rasoulollah Division. That the gist of Motevaselian’s speech at that time was martyrdom is not the goal. Rathe it is the reward for the struggles and hardships one endures on the way to reach the goal. The main point in General Soleimani's speech is that the self-sacrifice of the Shrine Defenders (those who fought Daesh in Iraq and Syria) and Resistance Forces does not mean they are not prudent, and if someone is seeking martyrdom, it does not mean that he wants to be killed.

Soleimani in this speech points to the divine will which is the first cause of everything and adds that if America and Saudi Arabia want to do something, their will is nothing compared to the will of God. The Iranian nation is standing against the United States and Saudi Arabia and they deserve victory because they are ready for self-sacrifice. General Soleimani believed faith [in God] gave rise to Muslims’ victory in the advent of Islam, not the power of the sword nor the number of people. He adds: "America has more than one million forces. But these forces don’t have faith, therefore, when they come to Iraq with all their equipment and facilities, they must put on diaper so that they don’t get out of the tank out of fear. But you did great job with this AK-47, with this ordinary weapon. Why? Because you sacrificed yourself."

General Soleimani also insisted on the concepts of prudence and self-sacrifice. He said, "Of course we put our lives on the line not out of imprudence; not because we do not act prudently. No, we act prudently and we take the enemy seriously. We take everything into account.  But we don't fear for our lives. Therefore, the one who threatens to kill us is like the one who gives us a medal. I remember martyr Ali Mohammadipour’s memoir.  He was the battalion commander. He had written in his notebook: O Arab brother who are chasing me and I am chasing you! I swear to God, if you martyr me, I will intercede (Shafa‘ah) for you.

Why did Iran enter Syria?

One of the important issues that should be extracted from General Soleimani's speeches as a military strategist is the reason for the emergence of the Shrine Defenders. In one of his speeches, he points to two important keywords: Takfiri movement and diplomacy. General Soleimani said Takfiri movement had reached the borders of Iran before the Shrine Defenders was formed. He also added that there are several issues that cannot be resolved through diplomacy. He concludes that the Takfiri movement is one of those issues that cannot be solved through diplomacy.

The military strategist went on to say: "Is there any place for diplomacy when the other party's ideology is that from religious point of view, you must be killed, and the more they kill from your side, the easier they will be admitted to Heaven? For such a person who thinks killing you is an obligation, there is no room for diplomacy but Jihad."

In another speech, he also pointed to lack of security in the countries around Iran and the wider Middle East region, saying: "We are engulfed in fire. Look! This is Iraq. This is Afghanistan. This is Pakistan that has atomic bomb. This is the Caucasus, this is Turkey. This is the condition of our neighboring countries."

General Soleimani added: "We could sit and watch when Syria will fall, when Iraq will fall. Then [the enemy] becomes equipped and reached our borders with a power 10 times or 100 times more than before, entered the country, conquered and started killing. No smart person, no wise manager, no responsible person will accept this. He says one should go and outroot this evil tree.”

 General Soleimani also indicates a terrorist organization that has trained 1,500 suicide bombers during 7 months while it captured Mosul and considers the killings of Iranians and Muslims and the raping of their women as an obligation must be countered with jihad.

Why did Imam Khomeini say ‘preservation of Islamic Republic is a divine duty that is above all other duties?’

One of the issues raised by Imam Khomeini was that the preservation of the Islamic Republic is more important than prayer. This has caused dispute.  General Soleimani also refers to this issue in a part of his socio-political speeches. He believes that mixing Islam with Iranian nationality is a feature that the rest of the countries around Iran do not have and that is why they are in war. The preservation of the Islamic Republic, according to General Soleimani, is a necessity because "today, defending the Islamic republic is equal to defending Islam. Why did Imam say that defending the Islamic Republic is above all duties and there is nothing more important than it? Why did he consider it more important than prayer? If we do not perform prayer, it is possible to do it later; but if the Islamic Republic is damaged, prayer will be damaged, religion will be damaged."

 Power of Iranians’ passport

The power of the Iranian passport was one of the heated debates at some time over the decades before. General Soleimani has also talked about it. Without going to extremes, he admits the importance of the passport for the citizens of a country. But he gives it a second priority. The former commander of the Quds Force says it is important that others “accept our passport or not, but is it more important than honor?”  He says, “Today, the honor and the independence of this nation are more important than anything else."

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