“Do you know who you are talking about? Do you know that the Iranian nation appreciates them for their bravery and sacrifices in defending their homeland against Saddam’s aggression? When aggressive Saddam had all types of weapons in his hand and your governments had closed all paths to Iran’s access to arms supplies, the young IRGC forces defended our country with their blood and sacrifices. Our people are thankful to them,” Zarif said in reaction to the statements made by the foreign minister of one of the western countries at a meeting in the last round of talks with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) which ended in Vienna on July 14, according to the diplomat who asked for anonymity.
“You’d better stop showing to the Iranian nation that you are standing opposed to the IRGC”, the source added.
“Zarif repeatedly reminded the western ministers that if General Soleimani had not stood up to the ISIL and other extremists in Syria and Iraq, they would have witnessed a different situation in many Iraqi and Syrian cities today,” the source underlined.
General Soleimani has been praised by different classes of the Iranian society as well as the regional figures for his brave commandership of the IRGC’s Quds Force and for his strategic thoughts and major wins in the war on terrorist groups in the region.
The Iranian legislators in a statement issued in January lauded Major General Qassem Soleimani for his effective efforts in pushing back the threat of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
“We appreciate the powerful, committed and mighty IRGC Quds forces and their smart, powerful and hero Commander Major General Soleimani,” the statement said.
“We also appreciate the Quds Force’s determining role as the mighty arm of the Islamic Revolution and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in defending the Muslim nations and regional security and also in conducting powerful and successful campaign against the terrorist grouplets, specially the criminal and evil ISIL terrorist group which is a hireling of the world arrogance and Zionism,” it added.
In a similar letter to General Soleimani in December, Iranian university professors appreciated him for his successful and positive role in the regional developments and against the hegemonic policies of the western governments in the region.
“In the current sensitive conditions that the hegemonic US government seeks to make geopolitical changes and do some new engineering in the region and the Muslim world and dreams of creating a larger Middle-East in the old Asian continent to safeguard its political-economic interests and provide long-term security for the illegitimate Zionist regime… the IRGC Quds Force has been the main obstacle to the materialization of those hegemonic geopolitical objectives,” the letter said.
The Iranian university professors praised Major General Soleimani for his and his colleagues’ non-stop efforts in the region, reminding that the anger felt by the US, its western allies and the regional reactionary governments at his presence and efforts vindicate the efficiency and efficacy of his actions.
In relevant remarks early November, senior military officials in Baghdad said Major General Soleimani planned the liberation operations of Jurf al-Sakher from the ISIL terrorist group’s occupation some three months earlier.
After the ISIL fled from the embattled town of Jurf al-Sakher late October, the Iraqi military gained a victory against the extremist group, with state television showing tanks and Humvees parading through the town and soldiers touring government buildings that had been occupied by the militants since August.
Photos soon emerged on independent Iraqi news websites revealing presence of the powerful Iranian general Soleimani, whose name has become synonymous with the victories of Iraqi ground forces, AP said in a report.
An Iraqi militia commander, who agreed only to be identified by his nickname, Abu Zeinab, said Soleimani began planning the Jurf al-Sakher operation three months ago.
Militia commanders told the AP that General Soleimani was on the front lines in Jurf al-Sakher, providing weapons training to some 7,000 troops and militia fighters, and coordinating with military commanders ahead of the operation.
Some other militia commanders, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media, describe Soleimani as “fearless” — one pointing out that the Iranian general never wears a flak jacket, even on the front lines.
“Soleimani has taught us that death is the beginning of life, not the end of life,” one militia commander said.