According to Wikipedia, General Qasem Soleimani “was promoted to Major General by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Khamenei was described as having a close relationship with him, calling Soleimani a “living martyr” and helping him financially.” [Source]
In my analysis, killing Soleimani gives Iranian President Hassan #Rouhani an opportunity to increase his political and military power, against Supreme Leader Khamenei (who was close to Soleimani), by choosing his successor. Giving Rouhani more power, and Khamenei less, is against U.S. interests as HR desires nuclear weapons and eventually a war with the West, while Khamenei seems to be opposed or at least disinterested in those goals.
Rouhani is an extremist Twelver, who believes that Iran must start an apocalyptic war in order to usher in the reappearance of al-Mahdi, a tenth century cleric, the 12th in a series of successors to Mahammad (PBUH). He and other Twelvers believe that this war will lead to a worldwide Islamic kingdom, such that all human persons will convert to Islam or be put to death. He literally has aspirations to conquer the world.
ISIS leaders have similar beliefs and goals. They also are extremist Twelvers, who seek a worldwide Islamic kingdom, and the destruction of all other religions and belief systems.
So killing Soleimani might harm Iran’s military short-term goals, but it helps Rouhani in the long-term, by giving him an opportunity to replace Soleimani, a supporter of Khamenei, with someone who supports or is controlled by Rouhani.
NY Times: “As the leader of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which leads Iran’s operations abroad, General Suleimani, who was 62, was the country’s top security and intelligence commander. He was behind nearly all military and intelligence operations orchestrated by Iran in the past two decades and directed Iran-backed militias in the fight against the Islamic State.”
Rouhani’s goal of an apocalyptic war requires that he remove Khamenei, who is believed to oppose the possession and use of nuclear weapons by Iran. If Rouhani could remove Khamenei, and take over as Supreme Leader while he is still President of Iran, he would have enough power to begin his intended war. The replacement of Soleimani with a supporter of Rouhani is a big step toward removing or replacing Khamenei.
Rouhani would need Khamenei’s full support, if he wishes to use nuclear weapons or threaten to use them, in order to make political and military gains in the region, and eventually go to war. That support is highly unlikely, so I expect Rouhani to try to replace Khamenei, so as to be both President and Supreme Leader at the same time. Rouhani is not eligible to run for office in the next Iranian presidential election in 2021, so he must make his move to gain more power prior to that election. I also expect that, if he becomes Supreme Leader, he will cancel the presidential elections and continue to hold both offices.
With the death of Suleimani, Rouhani now has a pretext for escalation of his conflict with the West. As I’ve cautioned before, Iran probably already has some number of nuclear bombs. They are simply waiting for the right circumstances to announce they are a nuclear power. Then they will consolidate power among the Arab Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa, and increase their threats against the West.
UPDATED: Suleimani has been replaced by his deputy, Esmail Qaani, on the orders of Khamenei. Look for Rouhani to remove and replace Qaani with someone under his influence, rather than the influence of Khamenei.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
@Alex: What are you talking about? Trump hasn’t called himself the second coming of God.
Also, Iran doesn’t have the guided missile capacity to kill “tens of thousands” of US soldiers in hours. They barely have the capacity to provide the unguided and hideous inaccurate missiles that their militia catspaws are currently flinging in the vague direction of US servicemen. Hell, they barely have the capacity to feed their own nation, their economy is in a tailspin, and they literally have to photoshop their own planes into the sky because they apparently do not grok aerodynamics. If they escalate this then the US can easily bomb their oil refineries, blockade their ports, reduce their upper echelons to the consistency of chunky salsa, and just sit back and wait for them to die of starvation.
Iran has been improving their missile capability in recent years. Their are many U.S. troops in reach of their missiles. It just depends on the accuracy and our defenses.
Alex…Gog and Magog are going to be on the wrong side of history..and I was born in Baghdad..so I am definitely not biased toward 1 side or the other.. calling Trump the AC is gross !!! You appear to be full of displaced hatred..you probably need a hug !!
Garabandal prophecy said that before the Great Warning communism will be all over the world. Whether the Russian style or another. And it is not the US democrats. For anyone who has little experience with a real communist country knows it has nothing to do with the US democrats.
I didn’t say Trump is the antichrist, but that he boasts and blasphemes, i.e. he might want to be one. His arrogance goes against international law. Lavrov said it. That is enough evil. It is sad that the US catholics pay tribute to one man, regardless of what he does, because he is “ours, our party, conservative” and so on. I bet there are better conservative republicans in USA.
In my view the real antichrist will be charismatic and Trump is definitely not charismatic for the rest of the world and for half of the American population. So instead of blaming me of rightfully criticizing that mad man, see where his actions lead America to – into a major war much worse than Iraq and Libya. Iran is not defenseless and without allies. And if it is meant USA to lose to Russia that might well be the start of all.
if you think I hate America, or I am some deluded leftist, see what US republican presidential candidate says. https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/01/05/joe-walsh-trump-iran-tweets-reaction-sot-nr-vpx.cnn
Joe Walsh: Trump is absolutely incompetent and unfit
Former congressman and Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh slams President Trump for deciding to use Twitter to notify Congress of possible further actions taken against Iran
Sorry, but I’m shutting down the political arguments about Trump. Let’s focus on faith.
Alex is destroying your site.
Well, he’s entitled to his opinions.
Iran launched its vaunted missiles straight at US bases in nearby Iraq… and failed to kill anyone but Iraqis.
At this point, literally more Iranians have died in a stampede at Soleimani’s funeral than Americans have stubbed their toes. Like I said, Ron, you’re overestimating Iran’s capacity to make conventional war.
Once they announce they have nukes, all the extremists will flock to them and their power will be greatly increased. They will unite all the Muslim nations of that region, and raise an army of millions.
Tump recently tweeted that Iran will never have nuclear weapons I thought they may have them the way they were acting but Trump seems to think otherwise do you still think they have them or are they on the brink of having them if they had them I would have expected more of a response from the Iranians the retaliation was very weak from them thank God Ballistic missiles landing in a joint Iraqi/US airbase injuring or killing no one although the Iranians laughably claiming 80 Americans killed maybe in time the detonation of a dirty bomb in NY will be claimed as harsh revenge for the killing o QS.
Rouhani can’t use nukes until he removes and replaces Khamenei. I think Iran has too few nukes to use them, yet. They will probably let the world know they have nukes once Rouhani increases his power — which he must do soon, as he is not eligible to run for reelection in 2021.
This whole incident seems to be winding down now, with the Iranians having successfully shot missiles into empty dirt and apparently blown up a civilian plane leaving their own capital. The death toll for the whole thing currently stands at more than a hundred Iranians and zero Americans. Forgive me if I decline in my boots.