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The 1-Year Death Anniversary of Qasem Soleimani

It’s been interesting to follow the events commemorating the one-year death of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force. What is particularly interesting to note is the stark difference between Iran’s commemoration of the event and the commemorative events and actions taken by the countries affiliated with Iran. Within Iran, the official stance was that the United States and former President Donald Trump are the ones behind Soleimani’s killing. The message echoed throughout the streets of Tehran was that those behind the murder must be brought to justice. In contrast, Iran’s proxies in the Middle East took a much harsher stance. They devoted themselves to full-fledged commemorative events that singled out and targeted the United States. In Iraq, for example, we’ve seen repeated attempts to launch missiles at US military bases located within the Green Zone. We’ve also seen a widespread rejection of the election results in an attempt to foil the formation of a new government. Similarly, in Yemen, Houthi militias hijacked an Emirati-flagged vessel in the Red Sea, which was traveling from Yemen’s Socotra Island to the Saudi city of Jazan. In Lebanon, the entrance to the airport was covered with pictures of Soleimani and slogans hostile to Saudi Arabia. In Israel, two rockets were fired by the Islamic Jihad at Tel Aviv. There were also two cyberattacks against two leading Israeli newspaper sites, The Jerusalem Post and Ma’ariv. All of this reaffirms the point that Iran doesn’t currently want to provoke the United States and Israel, while the Vienna negotiations are underway. The question is, therefore, why are these countries doing the “dirty work” for Iran and sacrificing their own national interests in the process, in favor of the mullah regime? –Tony Francis (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)