Quds Force Commander Qassim Soleimani for many Bahrainis is seen as the figure who oversaw several years of terrorist operations across this Kingdom, which resulted in many deaths and the destruction of property; in particular with bombings which killed over 20 policemen.

These operations were carried out by cells of radicalized Bahrainis. Many of those involved in terrorist operations had travelled to Iran and locations across the Arab world to receive training. It is known that many of these had travelled by busses on pilgrimages to Iraq, before receiving training at the hands of militants from Hezbollah Brigades; the organization commanded by Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was killed in the same vehicle as Soleimani.

Soleimani relied on a network of Bahraini emigres based in Qom for organizing terrorist operations inside Bahrain as well as acting as the public face of their organization for the sake of recruitment. Quds Force provided funding and oversaw the smuggling of large quantities of weapons and explosives to these militants. The boats transporting these materials were sometimes impounded and at other times raids against weapons stores or bomb-making workshops allowed experts to confirm that these materials were indeed arriving from Iran. 

Soleimani was furthermore one of the most hostile and outspoken figures in engaging in incitement against Bahrain and its leadership, making his desire to engineer the overthrow of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s leaderships very clear.

Soleimani spent his entire career planning and overseeing terrorist operations, in Europe, South America, parts of Asia, and particularly across the Arab world. Even in the US, Soleimani green-lighted a foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador. More than anything he has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Syrian citizens. Indeed, it is fair to say that without the central role which Soleimani and his subordinates played, Bashar al-Assad may have been overthrown as early as 2012 and the tense and unsettled situation in the region may have turned out very differently.

In recent weeks, thousands of protesters in Iraq and Lebanon have turned out on the streets, burning images of Soleimani and calling for Iran to get out of their countries. For them, the death of Soleimani can only be a good thing, strengthening prospects for them to achieve their demands for justice and good governance.

Much of the world’s media is currently going crazy, predicting war and chaos as a result of Soleimani’s death. Nobody can predict the future, but Iran is a second-rate regime suffering under international sanctions. Maybe it will respond, but Iran can only emerge as the loser from any such direct confrontation. In particular, if Hezbollah goes to war against Israel; Israel’s military are itching for an opportunity to completely destroy Hezbollah’s apparatus in Lebanon and Syria. With Soleimani having spent decades fermenting war and unrest, can things really get worse with him out the way?

Qassim Soleimani had been exporting terrorism and instability across the region for much longer than Osama Bin-Laden, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is perhaps responsible for more killings and greater regional instability than all of these. History should remember him as the region’s biggest terrorist. 

Whatever the case, Bahrain, Iran and the region are far safer without him and we sincerely hope that his death strengthens the chances that Iranians may see a peaceful and prosperous future without the Ayatollahs regime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.