The sinister genius of Qassem Soleimani

The sinister genius of Qassem Soleimani
Qasem Soleimani (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – He doesn’t sound that much like Elvis or Princess Di.]

In 2003, in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Iranian regime was ridden with anxiety. President George W. Bush had included Iran in his post-9/11 “axis of evil” in a famous 2002 speech. I … vividly remember their fear that the U.S. might turn next to Tehran.

In those anxious days, Gen. Qassem Soleimani — the powerful commander of Iran’s Quds Force, who was killed this week by a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad — performed an act of unsettling geopolitical genius. …

After the U.S. military campaign to topple the Taliban began, Iran detained hundreds of al Qaeda fighters fleeing Afghanistan. … Many Iranians saw these jihadists as a threat — Sunni zealots who hated overwhelmingly Shiite Iran. Yet Soleimani, the architect of the Islamic Republic’s plans for regional dominance, realized that they could also be an asset.

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