By Sadegh Fereydounabadi

The strategy of revenge 

January 3, 2023 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Almost two years into his assassination, Iran still seeks revenge for the martyrdom of General Qassem Soleimani, turning the revenge into a strategy of mobilization against the United States in the West Asia region. 

In a recent speech, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, once again reminded the United States that Iran not only has not forgotten the late commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Quds Force, but its determination to take revenge on Washington for his martyrdom is still very much on the agenda.   

“Of course, they [Americans] have shown great enmity toward us, but the Iranian nation – getting the better of them - has thwarted many of these enmities. Some of these events are still with us, we have not forgotten them. We will never forget the martyrdom of Martyr Soleimani, they should know this! We have said some things about this and we stand by our word. It will happen at the right time, at the right place, God willing,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on November 2, 2022. 

This comes at a time when three years has passed since the assassination of General Soleimani. The U.S. targeted the top Iranian general in the early days of 2020 at the Baghdad airport, setting off a barrage of Iranian vows for retribution. Of course, Iran took revenge immediately after holding a huge funeral service for the general by striking a U.S. base in western Iraq with missiles. But that was not enough, Iranian officials implied. They said that the right vengeance for General Soleimani’s assassination is the expulsion of the U.S. from the West Asia region. 

In a sense, what started with a missile strike gradually evolved into a long-term, multi-pronged strategy that aims to achieve what General Soleimani dedicated his entire life to that is the expulsion of the United States from the West Asia region. 

This was on full display after the assassination of General Soleimani. Shortly after the assassination, the Iraqi parliament passed a law obligating the Iraqi government to work toward expelling the U.S. forces from their country. Simultaneously, Iraqi resistance forces step up their resistance, which forced the U.S. to evacuate a number of its bases. 

The events following the assassination of General Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis indicated that the assassination of the two men, also known as the commanders of victory in Iraq, became a source of concern for the United States and its allies as millions of people in the region were deeply moved by the assassination. 

Many believe that martyr Soleimani proved more dangerous to the U.S. than General Soleimani. A few weeks after the assassination, the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution of Guards Corps (IRGC) made it clear that martyr Soleimani will come to haunt the U.S. even more than General Soleimani did during his life.

The martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was a new beginning for the fallen general, said the IRGC chief, noting that “Martyr Soleimani” is more alive and more dangerous for the enemy than “Qassem Soleimani.”

“Hajj Qassem had displaced and bewildered the enemy and was a man of changing the power balance at the peak of inequality,” General Salami noted. 

He made the remarks at a ceremony to introduce the new commander of the IRGC Quds Force, attended by senior commanders of the Iranian armed forces.

“General Martyr Soleimani had taken his own revenge on the enemy in several occasions long before his martyrdom,” Salami said.

He added that Soleimani’s activities had worn the U.S. and the Zionist regime out.

“In Hajj Qassem’s view, there was no equation that could not be solved. At the heart of danger, he was a mountain of calm and serenity and had drawn the enemies into defeat,” Salami said.

In a January 2022 speech, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to how the assassination of General Soleimani plagued the U.S. “Someone once said that ‘Martyr’ Soleimani is more dangerous for his enemies than ‘General’ Soleimani. He understood correctly. This is really the case. Those who martyred Martyr Soleimani, dear Martyr Abu-Mahdi and their comrades two years ago thought the case was over. The enemies thought by assassinating them, everything was over,” the Leader asserted.

He added, “But you should look at what condition they are in today. Look at the situation of the U.S. They fled from Afghanistan in that way. And in Iraq, they were forced to pretend that they had intended to withdraw their forces – of course, our Iraqi brothers should pursue this matter vigilantly. They were forced to announce that from now on, they will only play an ‘advisory’ role. In other words, they are acknowledging that they will not and cannot have a military presence there anymore. You should also look at the status of the U.S. in Yemen and Lebanon. The anti-arrogance movement and the Resistance movement in the region are moving forward in a stronger, more dynamic and more hopeful way than two years ago. In Syria, the enemies are faced with a dead end. The enemies in Syria have no hope for the future. These are blessings from that dear, innocent blood.”

General Salami outlined in an interview how the martyrdom of General Soleimani proved more dangerous for the enemies. 

He said revenge for General Soleimani has become a strategy and cause. “When Qassem was alive, we used to know one General Soleimani. But when he got martyred, a kind of revolution took place in the hearts and engrossed them and penetrated and multiplied in the personality of young people. One Qassem became millions of Qassems, and now all of them are talking about revenge,” the IRGC chief said in an interview with 

He added, “Well, he became more dangerous. Now, revenge has become a strategy, a wish, an ideal and a point of departure. After the martyrdom of Qassem, the tendency of young people to jihad has increased. This poses a danger to the enemy. Whenever we are not afraid of death, we are dangerous.”

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