Ayn al-Asad was merely a slap, but the U.S. must leave the region (2)
Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday, January 8, hours after Iran gave a sampling of its avowed vengeance by attacking two American military bases in Iraq for the unpardonable U.S. crime of martyring General Qassem Soleimani, granted audience in Tehran to a large gathering of the people of Qom, on the eve of the 42nd anniversary of the uprising of the people of that holy city against the British-installed and American-supported Pahlavi regime.
He said to the cheering audience amid vociferous chants of God’s Majesty (Allah-o Akbar) and “Death to the US” that Iran’s lobbing of over a dozen destructive missiles on the Ayn al-Asad airbase that caused extensive damage in equipment was merely a slap, and full vengeance means the U.S. must leave the entire region.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution after elaborating on the memorable uprising of the people of Qom on 9th of January 1978 that sparked the nationwide grassroots movement against the British-installed and American-backed Shah, eventually overthrowing the rootless Pahlavi regime in February 1979, turned to the current cowardly U.S. act of state terrorism in the target-killing of General Qassem Soleiman, saying: “Now, I wish to raise two, three points about our dear martyr – Haaj Qassem Soleimani. One point is about his character. Well, these days, many things have been said about that great personality, that good, dear, courageous and fortunate comrade of ours who went to heaven. And what they said about him and his personality traits are correct, but I too wish to raise certain points which I think are important.
“Martyr Soleimani was both brave and insightful. His actions were not merely marked by courage. Some people have courage, but they do not have the necessary wisdom and acumen to utilize their courage. And some people enjoy wisdom, but they do not take action. They do not have the guts to take action. Our dear martyr both had the necessary guts and the necessary acumen. He would embrace danger and he had no fears. His courage showed itself not only in the recent events but also during the Holy Defence Era of the 1980s, when (during 8-year imposed by the U.S. through Saddam of repressive Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad), he was the commander of the Tharallah Brigade. Both he and his division showed exemplary courage. He was a man of wisdom as well. He would think carefully and he had reasons for his actions.
“This combination of courage and acumen manifested itself not only in the military arena, but also in the field of politics. I said this many times to friends active in the political arena as we were witness to his behaviour and his actions. He was courageous and wise in the field of politics. His words would exert tremendous influence and they were convincing. Above all, he was pure and sincere. He would expend his courage and acumen on the path of God and he was not a pretentious person. Sincerity is very important. We should practice sincerity as well.
“Another one of his qualities was that despite being a commander who had mastery over the military, he was very careful to observe the principles of the shari’ah. Sometimes, people forget about religious regulations in the war theatre, saying that there is no time for that, but he was very careful in this regard. He would not use weapons if he did not deem it necessary. He would take care not to violate other people’s rights. He would exercise caution in areas that many people do not deem necessary. He would embrace danger, but at the same time, he would protect others’ lives as far as he could. He would watch over the lives of his comrades, his soldiers and his colleagues from among other nations who stood beside him.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said: “An important point in this respect is that regarding the domestic issues of the country – well, most comments about him are about his regional battles and activities – he did not belong to any party or faction, but at the same time, he was a revolutionary in the complete sense of the word. The Revolution and being revolutionary were his definite goals. Some people should not try to undermine this aspect of his personality. This is a reality about him. He was absorbed by the Revolution and being a revolutionary was his red line. Of course, he was not interested in aligning himself with different parties, different factions and the like, but he was completely committed to the idea of being a revolutionary. He was committed to the Revolution and to the auspicious and dazzling guidelines of our late Imam Khomeini (RA).
“One example of his insight and his courage was that – the enemies might know this well, but some friends might not know it – is that he managed to foil all illegitimate plots of the Americans in West Asia with the help of regional peoples – or it could be said with the support that he offered to them. That man managed to stand up to all the plots that had been hatched with money, with vast propaganda efforts made by the Americans, with the diplomatic capabilities of the Americans and with the bullying that they exert on politicians – particularly on some weak countries. He managed to foil all the schemes set up by them in West Asia.
“Regarding Palestine, the Americans intended to consign the issue of Palestine to oblivion and to keep the Palestinians weak so that they would not dare speak of struggle, but that man empowered the Palestinians. He did something to make a small region like the Gaza strip – which is a small strip of land – stand up to the Zionist regime despite all their extravagant claims. He created such a disastrous situation for them that they asked for ceasefire after just 48 hours! This was done by Haaj Qassem Soleimani. He empowered the Palestinians. He helped them stand up and resist.
“This is what our Palestinian brothers have said to me time and time again. Of course, I was already aware of his feats, but they testified to that. All Palestinian leaders acknowledged the same thing on their numerous trips to our country. That is while when we had meetings with such officials, who were in contact with him – these were ordinary official meetings – he would sit in a corner in order not to be seen by others. If we needed to know his opinion and if we needed his testimony, we had to look here and there to find him. He would not place himself within sight and he was not a man of pretention.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution further said: “The US plans in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon were foiled thanks to the assistance and actions of that dear martyr. The Americans would like Iraq to be like Iran in the days of the Pahlavi regime or like today’s Saudi Arabia. They want it to be a region full of oil where they will be able to do whatever pleases them. As that person said, they want that country to be a “dairy cow”. They want Iraq to be like that. However, pious and brave figures, the youth and the Maraja’ Taqlids (Grand Ayatollahs) of Iraq stood up to the Americans and Haaj Qassem - God bestow paradise on him - helped and supported that vast front in its entirety. He proved to be an active counsellor and supporter in that country.
“The same thing can be seen in the case of Syria and Lebanon. As for Lebanon, the Americans are willing to deprive Lebanon of its most important element of independence – in other words, the Resistance Force and the legendry anti-terrorist movement, the Hezbollah – so much so that Lebanon would be defenseless in the face of Israel and so that they would be able to advance as far as Beirut. As it happens, they did so years ago. However, Hezbollah became stronger on a daily basis. Today, Hezbollah serves as both the hands and the eyes of Lebanon. And our dear martyr played a brilliant and prominent role in this regard. He enjoyed acumen and courage. He was a brave mujahid and a diligent brother.
“Nations are thankfully awake. Today, nations are awake, but the role of our dear martyr and his local comrades was exemplary. An example of his comrades is Martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhanddis - God bestow paradise to him. He was an enlightened, pious and brave man. When one looked at him, his face was an embodiment of this hadith in the book al-Kafi referring to Divine Grace: “My face is lit up with Your light”. Abu Mahdi was like that. He had a bright, spiritual and Godly face. Martyr Soleimani managed to accomplish these great feats with such pious, valorous and enlightened men. These points were about our martyr. Of course, one can say many more things about this dear martyr of ours, but this much is enough for the moment.
Another chapter about Martyr Soleimani is the blessings ensuing his great martyrdom. Whenever that dear martyr delivered a report – be that a verbal or a written report about the tasks that he had carried out – I would praise him both verbally and deep in my heart, but [today] I bow down in respect to what he started and brought about for the country and for the whole region [Audience weeps]. A great feat was accomplished. He caused a movement. His spirituality and his martyrdom made him so prominent and outstanding. See how the Iranians and the Iraqis bid farewell to him. Notice how the people in Kadhamayn, in Baghdad, in Najaf and in Karbala behaved in bidding farewell to that body torn to pieces. [Audience weeps]. I thank his pure soul from the bottom of my heart.
That was the second of the three parts into which we have split the Leader of the Islamic Revolution’s memorable speech of January 8 on the threshold of the 42nd anniversary of the historic uprising of the people of Qom, and on the day last Wednesday when Iran gave a sampling of the vengeance awaiting the U.S. by targeting the Ayn al-Asad military base with a barrage of devastating precision missiles.