What’s Iran’s real message after Soleimani “assassination plot”?

Details of the assassination plot, as told by Iran seem to indicate a different message than the one they are actively putting forth

October 4, 2019 04:07
2 minute read.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani walks near an armored vehicle at the frontlin

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani walks near an armored vehicle at the frontline during offensive operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq. (photo credit: COURTESY VIA REUTERS)

Qassem Soleimani, the legendary head of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, sat with Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr and Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during the Ashura holiday commemorations on September 10. He was never supposed to have made it to that meeting, according to a report in Iran’s Press TV that alleges he was a target of an assassination plot the day before.

According to the latest story about alleged plots against Soleimani, who has supposedly been targeted in the past, terrorists were supposed to enter Iran and plant a large 300-500 kilogram bomb targeting Soleimani. Iran knows something about bombs like this because Hezbollah used just such a bomb to blow up former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. Oddly, Iran claims the plot was by an alliance of “Arabs and Israel.”

It is surely just a coincidence that a plot would be hatched to martyr Mr. Soleimani on the holy days of Ashura, so he can join the pantheon of holy martyrs. It is surely just a coincidence that the story about this plot comes in the midst of the famously modest Soleimani sitting down for an interview about the 2006 war. Surely, it is just a coincidence that Soleimani has been speaking about Imad Mughniyeh, the well-known Hezbollah “martyr” who he says planned the 2006 war against Israel.

It sounds like the “plot” is part of the symbolism that frames two speeches by the IRGC commander Hossein Salami. On September 30, Salami said that the destruction of Israel was no longer just a dream. On October 3, the IRGC commander again threatened Israel, claiming that if there is a war, Israel will be destroyed. This is the frame in which Soleimani speaks about Lebanon’s 2006 war against Israel, and in which he allegedly survived an assassination that happened on an auspicious day.

Soleimani’s main message in his interviews about the 2006 war is that the reason Iran could not get to Israel to help Hezbollah was partly because the US was in Iraq. According to these claims, the US presented an obstacle to Iran’s domination of the region. But today that obstacle is being reduced. Iran has struck at Saudi Arabia, either through Yemen or directly, in the September 14 raid on Saudi oil facilities. A new road from Iraq to Syria is open, and a large alleged Iranian base at Al-Bukamal has been constructed. Iran is getting closer to the Golan. It wants to funnel precision ordnance to Hezbollah. It says the US has failed in its anti-Iran policy and Iran thinks it can even discuss things with Saudi Arabia.

Tehran thinks it is winning. Perhaps that is why it wants to claim its most well-known commander in the region has been miraculously saved from a plot. And through the fires of that plot, he will now have an excuse to do what he wants in regards to taking “revenge” for that plot.

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