The U.S. made a political error by killing Qasem Soleimani

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.

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29 Responses to The U.S. made a political error by killing Qasem Soleimani

  1. Rob says:

    If Iran made the mistake of attempting to escalate, there is quite literally nothing their air force could do to stop the entirety of their senior leadership from meeting the exact same fate. And you know Trump would do it. This is a very clear declaration of “don’t screw with us” to the Iranian elite, and one I doubt they’ll ignore.

  2. King Robert the Bruce says:

    This is a huge blow Iran has suffered Soleimani was an extremely important figure for them no doubt there will be reprisals for this. I just don’t understand why now what has changed with Trump after he cancelled the last air strikes he must know they have nukes the future WW3 just got a step closer with this was this air strike really necessary.

  3. Firas Mishu says:

    Ron..you say it was an ” error “, yet you theorize that this is the destined path according to theological study… It seems to me that there is no other paths to take…If your conclusions
    are correct

    • Ron Conte says:

      In one sense, it’s an error, as it will lead to war. In another sense, this war is unstoppable, as it is ordained by God as a punishment for sin.

  4. Rob says:

    It seems pretty obvious that Soleimani was there to oversee an attempted Iran Hostage Crisis 2.0. He was in a car with the leader of an important Iraqi Shia militia, one with close ties to the men who attempted to storm the US Embassy in Baghdad. Some of those men even graffiti’d Soleimani’s name onto the walls of the embassy before being repulsed. But it seems US intelligence was better than he bargained for and Trump much more willing to play rough than previous presidents.

    There is precious little Iran can actually do about this, though. The US is more than capable of crippling their nation’s economy and killing their leadership with pure air power, and their own anemic air force really isn’t capable of stopping it. The Iranians still use ancient F-4s from before 1979, for goodness’ sake. They’ll probably have their militia puppets somewhere lob a few shells in the general direction of US personnel to save face (this seems to be what is happening in Iraq now) and try and call that their revenge. They don’t have any other cards to play.

    • Alex says:

      In case you don’t know, the Iranian missiles are too many in numbers to be all intercepted, and too close to destroy much of the US bases in the Gulf, as well as the ships/carriers. Shkval torpedo underwater missile, etc. Tens of thousands killed American soldiers in just hours.
      Then USA will have to….use smart nukes after all, yes? And that is the beginning of the nuclear domino.
      Putin just waits of such stupid move in which he will be the liberator of the world.
      Hopefully the Europeans will do something different in the last moment, NOW. Including by declassifying all those secret techs that everyone of the leaders know and many have (including Iran and Israel).

  5. Matt says:

    Trump knows that Iran has nukes and he is now forcing their hand to admit that they have them. This then will give USA and allies excuse to strike Iran and wipe out their nuclear arms. This in turn could spark a revolution in Iran and overthrow of their oppressive government.

  6. Alex says:

    However bad Soleimani was, however bad Iran policies are, to kill the foreign chief of staff is an act of war. USA is still not at war with Iran. Apparently it wants to be at.

    If the same logic was applied to the relations with the Soviet Union, now we wouldn’t be able to write on internet, rather would survive nuclear winter in deep bunkers. And we all know that.

    Someone wants to provoke WW3 that was avoided during the Cold War with the existence of 50-70, 000 nukes.

    I wonder why should God stop WW3 all the time in the last moment if the men want it so badly. And Iran wants it too, because of Mahdi. I don’t say they are the right side. They provoke. Does it mean we all have to die for those provocations?

    Now Putin can just sit and wait, as well as the Chinese. The worse it becomes, the better for them.

    And btw Ron, I do not agree that WW3 will be relatively small, limited to the Middle East and invasion of Europe, and WW4 will follow later. History shows otherwise. In the first weeks of WW1 people thought it would be stopped between the European great powers who still negotiated. Rather it became the first world war. In WW2 the West tried to appease Hitler by giving him Austria and Czechoslovakia. It didn’t stop there. The world was silent when Japan invaded Korean peninsula and Manchuria. it didn’t stop there. It won’t stop now with the Middle East.

    The doctrine of preemptive nuclear strike is still valid. If USA uses nukes, or if Iran uses them, that will open the pandora box. All the rest nuclear powers will say, we are the next, and will strike first in order to survive. Excuses will be found or made. Or they may let Kim to strike as the convenient fool. It cannot be just a little nuclear war, because after the first nuke it is a clear equation that whoever strikes first has the greatest chance of survival. And I don’t see how Iran will be beaten conventionally, if USA can’t end the Afghanistan war for so long. Iran is not Afghanistan or Iraq.

    May God have mercy on us and on America! Great Warning or whatever, otherwise we all are doomed! What does it mean 1/5 of humanity only, or you name the percent? It means a TOTAL devastation! It means hundreds of nukes or more.

    And it is not a good idea if the Americans want to believe that the devastation will be ONLY in Middle East and Europe. It doesn’t work that way in a globalized world.

    • Firas Mishu says:

      I see the progression of a war to follow the following steps…not that i expect any of this to happen…but if it did, then these would be the steps..

      1. Iran attacks military interest of the USA in retaliation for killing QS ( not likely, I think that the Iranians have underestimated Trump’s response and are now pounding their chest but ultimately will back off any attacks)
      2. USA attacks with significant strength the military and infrastructure of assets of Iran
      ( inside its borders).
      3. Iran cannot immediately retaliate, and the USA thinks it has won the battle,,, but in the near future , it sets off a nuclear bomb in the USA( dirty or otherwise..I speculate that this bomb and others are located outside the Iranian borders..
      4. Thus the beginning of Rons predictions..

    • Alex says:

      Well, there is a logic. Especially having in mind the last 3 decades actions of USA done with impunity. However that time will come to an end. Iran is much stronger than Libya, Serbia and Iraq. Iran is ally with Russia and China.
      And history shows no matter how much strong is a single country, it is not the whole world. Even measured in nuclear power that USA ultimately relies upon. It is just insanity. other leaders in history were insane too, should I mention them? Trump is impeached, and instead of building up appropriate defense in the Senate with witnesses, he boasts as god-chosen one, and decided on New Year to go to war. WW3 to be precise. Hope God stops him, if we are not in the end times.

  7. Firas Mishu says:

    what happened to my 2nd comment ?

  8. Matt says:

    I want to add that by Trump threatening to hit Iranian cultural sites, he is definitely taunting them to admit that they have nuclear weapons.

  9. King Robert the Bruce says:

    I think the Iranians are stunned by this they did not expect this response from Trump no one did time will tell if they are cowed by this the reality is QS was theyre best military and tactical and strategic mind I think the Iranian people looked on him like a modern day Salahadin as I said before this is a tremendous blow they have suffered it could possibly be a gamechanger.

  10. Alex says:

    I think Trump could be potentially the antichrist, providing his brutality and calling himself “the second coming of god” that is an outright blasphemy. He wants to be, but is he? His publicly shown stupidity not corresponding to the high office he takes, could be the necessary mask for the ultraconservatives to buy into his play “to deceive if possible even the elect ones”.

    However, thanks God we have the prophecies of the Great Monarch and the Angelic Pope that still have to appear. Look at Europe! So…Trumpy does not qualify…he will go in history and hope not after a WW2 as Hitler did, but preemptively, if we buy into his own rhetoric. If he is not the antichrist, he will be defeated before he sets the world on fire. if he is allowed to do as he wills…then brace for the worst case scenario!

    • Firas Mishu says:

      Alex ..your hatred for Trump nullifies most all your comments…”Trump, the antichrist ‘?, C’mon..Iran has been provoking the USA for years, starting with the taking over of the US embassy in the 1980’s…please identify 1 attack the USA has taken and especially Trump has taken
      since then.. I can name you several attacks of Iranian sponsored attacks on USA

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