On This Day — The Assassination of Qassem Soleimani (January 3 2020) [Tensions high on first anniversary]

“If you think the war in Iraq was hard, an attack on Iran would, in my opinion, be a catastrophe. Iranian capacity to wage a series of terror attacks across the Middle East aimed at us and our friends, and dramatically worsen the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and elsewhere is hard to overestimate.”

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (March 2012)

January 3 2020— General Qassem Soleimani was assassinated on 3 January 2020 around 1 am local time (22:00 UTC on 2 January), after missiles shot from American drones targeted his convoy near Baghdad International Airport. This attack raises dozen of questions, and none can be answered today. But one thing is certain. Iranians will never forget General Qassem Soleimani. 2020 is going to be a very dangerous year for American people all over the world. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“Soleimani joined his martyred brothers, but we will take vigorous revenge on America.”

Former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaee (January 3 2020)

UPDATE (January 3 2021) — Today marks the first anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated  in a US drone strike while visiting Baghdad.

On Wednesday, Iranian prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr claimed that London-based security services company G4S played a role in the killing.

The Iranian government alleges the US had used the Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany for this operation.

The fears of a serious ‘clash’ in the last days of Donald Trump’s presidency are not without merit.

On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused outgoing US President Donald Trump of seeking a “pretext for war.”

“Instead of fighting Covid in US, @realDonaldTrump & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to OUR region,” Mr. Zarif said in a tweet.

“Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to FABRICATE pretext for war. Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests.”

On Friday, Iran’s judiciary chief warned that Qassem Soleimani’s killers will “not be safe on Earth.” 

During the ceremony, Soleimani’s successor, Esmail Ghaani, warned that revenge may come from anywhere.

“It’s even possible that there are people inside your home [the United States] that will respond to your crime,” he said.

On Friday, the acting US defense secretary, Christopher C. Miller, ordered the aircraft carrier Nimitz back home as a “de-escalatory” signal to Tehran.

PS – According to credible sources, the Biden transition team is no longer considering Mike Morell as CIA Director. Until now, all US media have explained this decision as a consequence of Morell being a “torture apologist”. This is nonsense. Rather, I believe that Morell is simply not compatible with Biden’s new policy towards Iran. Time will tell…

END of UPDATE

“Senior Pentagon officials said that Mr. Miller assessed that dispatching the Nimitz now, before the first anniversary this Sunday of General Suleimani’s death in an American drone strike in Iraq, could remove what Iranian hard-liners see as a provocation that justifies their threats against American military targets. Some analysts said the return of the Nimitz to its home port of Bremerton, Wash., was a welcome reduction in tensions between the two countries.” NYT (Jan. 1st 2021)

January 3 2020 — The United States Department of Defense issued a statement that said the U.S. strike was carried out “at the direction of the President” and asserted that Soleimani had been planning further attacks on American diplomats and military personnel and had approved the attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad in response to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on 29 December 2019.

General Qassem Soleimani was immediately succeeded by Esmail Ghaani as commander of the Quds Force.

So many questions…

Why has the US decided to assassinate General Qassem Soleimani now when it is known that previous US presidents have renounced that option because of its enormous ramifications for the middle east?

What was the role of the CIA in that decision?

Why was the “Gang of Eight” not informed?

Who was actually aware of this operation?

Did Israel participate in the operation?

Why is President Trump taking responsibility — and credit — for the assassination when the US (CIA) has hidden its hands in the murder of far less significant players in the past?

Why have various US officials provided different rationales for the airstrike? The answer to this question may have huge legal implications.

Has anyone — person or institution –attempted to benefit financially from the foreknowledge of Soleimani’s assassination?

In the last 48 hours, real experts on Iranian affairs have been very quiet. But there was plenty of clowns available for MSM interviews.

Please, listen to Mike Morell’s interview and keep in mind, that in the summer 2016, this ‘psycophant’ was recommending the killing of Iranian officials in Iraq and Syria. If hypocrisy had a face…

RELATED POST: Michael Morell: “Let Us Kill Iranians and Russians in Syria!”

Former CIA Director Mike Morell : “There will be dead civilian Americans”

REFERENCES

2020 Baghdad International Airport airstrike — Wikipedia

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On This Day — The Assassination of Qassem Soleimani (January 3 2020)

On This Day — The Assassination of Qassem Soleimani (January 3 2020) [Tensions high on first anniversary]

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