By Dr. Ali Chegeni
The year 2020 had just begun. While people were engaged in the New Year’s celebrations, on January 3rd, the news of assassination of the great commander who fought against terrorism, suddenly, shocked the world. Donald Trump’s acceptance of responsibility for this act of terror further added to the global bewilderment.
Now, ahead of the first anniversary of the dastardly assassination of martyr General Qasem Soleimani on 3th January,2020 and Arabaeen (40 days following martyrdom) of martyr Prof. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, people in Iran and around the world are holding commemoration ceremonies to pay tribute to these late Iranian icons.
Respected both by friends and foes as a major military tactician, Major General Qasem Soleimani was the world’s most talented military figure in the field of counter-terrorism.
For many people worldwide, General Qasem Soleimani was an anti-terror hero, who played a key role in defeating Daesh (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.
However,US President Donald Trump ordered his assassination in an airstrike during his official visit to Baghdad and while being received by the Iraqi authorities at the International Baghdad Airport. This cowardly terror act was the biggest gift from the US to Takfiri terrorism and its supporters.
Major General Qasem Soleimani, had played a major role in defending the region against Daesh’s terror campaign. As foreign-backed Takfiri outfits raised their heads in 2014, the late commander emerged as a key strategist and ingenious commander leading Iranian military advisers assisting Syrian and Iraqi troops in battles against terrorists.
He assisted the Baghdad government in operations to retake the strategic oil-rich city of Tikrit from Daesh in 2015. The general was frequently pictured on the frontlines during anti-terrorism operations from Iraq’s Mosul to Syria’s Aleppo. The general also took personal command of the battle against Takfiri militants in the Syrian city of Bukamal, located in Dayr al-Zawr Province, in November 2017.
Finally, in November 2017, he declared the end of Daesh’s territorial rule in a letter addressed to Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The late general’s anti-terror drive also was beneficial for India’s national interests. His efforts were key to rescue Indian nationals including a group of 11 Indian nurses trapped by Daeshin Iraq. In fact, in the viewpoint of General Soleimani, terrorism recognizes no religion or specific country and it may take victims from all corners of the world, irrespective of their religion, faith or nationality. For this great man, delivering relief and rescue to all people of the world in fighting against terrorism and extending support to victims of terror was a basic principle.
Martyr General Soleimani had a humble and kind face in his encounter and interactions not only with military officers but also with common local people and that is why he is so popular with the people of region and many memorial functions were spontaneously erected to observe his martyrdom after his demise. Inside Iran, in his farewell funeral, millions of people in different cities poured to the streets to attend this ceremony.
Martyr Prof. Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh had also an outstanding role in different peaceful scientific projects in Iran, the most recent example of which is development of the first indigenous COVID-19 test kit and vaccine, which is a great contribution to Iran’s national efforts in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic and production of its vaccine at a time when Iran is under the inhumane, unjust and unilaterally imposed sanctions by the United States’ regime.
These dastardly acts are committed against Iran which itself has so far been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism in order to establish and contribute to peace and stability in the region and the world and such acts are a flagrant violation of international rules and humanitarian principles.The US terrorist and criminal move to target General Soleimani proved once again to the people of the world who is really backing the terrorists and that the US definition of terrorism is defined by its self-interests and is rooted on double standards.
It goes without saying that had it not been for martyr Soleimani’s valuable efforts, Daesh would have spread its rule of terror throughout a wider part of the region and curbing of Daesh also prevented the Takfiri terrorists from causing terror in other parts of the world including South Asia. By giving severe blows to the foundations of Daesh, more recruitments for this terrorist group from other countries were also prevented.
To honor the memory of Martyr General Qasem Soleimani and pay tribute to all scarifying their lives for the peace and tranquility in the region and beyond, the Islamic Republic of Iran proposes the following: designation of January third as“World Counter-Terrorism Day” by the international community and dedicating an annual International Martyr Soleimani Award to the heroes of fighting with terror.
Last but not least, it is hoped that 2021 may be a year of peace, tranquility, health, prosperity and development for the people of our region and the entire world.
The writer is Ambassador of I.R of Iran to India.