There are unconfirmed reports that Qasem Soleimani commander of Qods Force (Iran’s external security agency) has been killed in drone strikes. If true, this will be a major moment in US-Iran relations & Supreme Leader will undoubtedly see this as a major provocation/act of war
I can’t understate how major this is. Not just a moment in US-Iran relations, but a major global event. People comparing this to killing Osama Bin Laden don’t know what they’re talking about. This is way more significant. Equivalent to another country killing US Vice-President
Soleimani is extraordinarily close to the Supreme Leader of Iran. Soleimani reports directly to the Supreme Leader, the Qods force is technically part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps which also reports to the Supreme Leader. He is more powerful than Iran’s President
If you want to understand how powerful Soleimani is all you have to look to is a text he sent to David Petraeus. This text is an extraordinary (yet unsurprising) display of power. Especially since Iran has an elected president and foreign minister.
Qods force & its proxies are responsible for assassinations, terrorism, and unconventional warfare that Iran supports in countries like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.
Qods Force is also responsible for successful and attempted terrorist acts and assassinations in countries like Argentina, the United States, India, and Germany.
Watch this clip of Soleimani speaking to understand what his rhetoric is like. He was/is a hardliners hardliner.
As I said in the beginning of this thread, Iran’s Supreme Leader is going to see this as a major provocation/act of war. He will respond in a significant manner. We shouldn’t be surprised to see major cyber attacks against the US as an example
We shouldn’t be surprised to see the Supreme Leader order covert operations all over the globe (including, dare I say, in the US) that involve assassinations & other acts of terrorism We should expect to see the most significant/aggressive response
if what I’m expecting sounds alarmist…it’s because this is a major, major event. I’m not interested in getting into whether it was the right or wrong decision but dealing with this plainly, if true, it was a major, major decision.
To call Qasem Soleimani just a terrorist is to understate his role significantly and that’s where the danger lies in killing him without a plan for the reaction. He ordered and directed billions of dollars to organizations that engaged in terrorism. He is/was an evil man
But killing Soleimani is not like killing the head of a terrorist org. It’s like killing the head of a terrorist organization and a head of state. You have to treat it as such and the US has not DIRECTLY engaged in assassinations on that level in decades.
CNN’s @arwaCNN says it best just now: “we are in uncharted territory.”
For those who think Iran will respond with just traditional warfare, you’re wrong. Solemani is responsible for, at a minimum, hundreds of US Soldiers deaths & much much more But imagine how US would respond to a sitting VPbeing killed. Iran will respond at a similar level.
The president just tweeted this.;
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
The Iranian government has confirmed the death of Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. Now that it’s confirmed, allow me to say in plain English…this is a holy shit moment. Again not just for US-Iran relations, not just in the Middle East, but a holy shit global event
Breaking: The Pentagon has released a statement that “at the direction of the President ” the United States has killed Qasem Soleimani
I find this to be puzzling. Soleimani has always been planning covert/overt action. Why now? Killing him to deter further plans (as statement notes) isn’t going to stop any of that Punishing him for US Mil deaths is justified but is USG prepped for covert response?
BTW when I say Soleimani was the 2nd most powerful man in Iran I am referring to foreign policy. President Rouhani has a great deal of domestic influence But given Iran’s expansion in the Mid East (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, & Yemen) – Soleimani was 2nd only to Supreme Leader
I’m seeing people say that Soleimani was next in line to be Supreme Leader. That is absolutely not the case. Supreme Leaders are clerics, not military leaders. Iran doesn’t work that way Plus Soleimani’s power came from being in the shadows, not dealing w/ domestic policy
Statement from Iran’s Foreign Minister @JZarif on the US operation that killed Qasem Soleimani “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”
Statement from Gen David Petraeus (Ret) who knows a lot about Soleimani and had direct communication with him (see earlier in thread)
I generally agree with this tweet. The Iranian regime is not suicidal. But they love to use covert action and that is actually much more destabilizing and terrifying than launching some missiles.
The Iranian regime is humiliated but weakened inside and outside the country. The US has proven it is strong and unpredictable. The Iranian response will include demonstrating and threatening but what else which could hurt the enemy without calling for a massive US reaction?
— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) January 3, 2020
Iran’s Supreme Leader has declared three days of mourning and is promising harsh revenge against the United States.
Do most Iranians want to be ruled by this regime? No. But are they hyper-sensitive when it comes to anything perceived as US interference in Iranian affairs? Yes. Things like the coup organized by CIA has made Iranians deeply suspicious of US involvement.
This past October, Microsoft published this corporate blog about cyber attacks and hacking organized and funded by the Iranian government. https://t.co/rAIXSDOlYo?amp=1