Zeinab Soleimani, daughter of late Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani, threatened former President Donald Trump via Twitter on Wednesday following his departure from the White House, writing that he will “live in fear of foes” indefinitely.
As president, Trump ordered a fatal drone strike against Soleimani — the head of the Quds Force, an elite foreign arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — while he was visiting Baghdad and meeting with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the founder and leader of the Hezbollah Brigades, a jihadist militia. The strike also eliminated al-Muhandis, a senior official within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an increasingly influential coalition of Iran-backed militias in Iraq. The IRGC is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization and American officials believe Soleimani to be personally responsible for hundreds of American deaths and thousands of injuries.
Following Soleimani’s death, Iran’s destabilizing actions in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen have diminished sufficiently, given the lack of a mastermind to lead Iranian terrorist strategy in the area. Iran’s influence far from its neighborhood in places like Venezuela has also diminished, both thanks to Soleimani’s absence and to its dire economic state, prompted by strict sanctions on its economy imposed by the Trump administration.
Soleimani’s online statement followed an extensive rant on Wednesday by the country’s president, Hassan Rouhani, in which he called Trump a “stupid terrorist” for the decision to target Soleimani and celebrated his departure. Rouhani also hoped that successor Joe Biden would return to the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, that Trump had withdrawn from, dismissing it as poorly negotiated.
“Mr. Trump, you murdered my father, the General who led the victorious war against ISIS/Al-Qaeda, with the perverse hope that you will be seen as some sort of hero,” Zeinab Soleimani wrote on Twitter, according to Iranian state propaganda outlet PressTV. “But instead you are defeated, isolated & broken — viewed not as a hero, but one who lives in fear of foes.” The daughter of the famed terrorist accompanied the message with a photo of far-left anti-Trump art.
Mr. Trump, you murdered my father, the General who led the victorious war against ISIS/Al-Qaeda, with the perverse hope that you will be seen as some sort of hero
But instead you are defeated, isolated & broken – viewed not as a hero, but one who lives in fear of foes
The irony pic.twitter.com/gBN5kqsOsY
— Zeinab soleimany | زینب سلیمانی (@znb_soleimany) January 20, 2021
The younger Soleimani did not identify any of the alleged “foes” that may soon stalk Trump, though observers suspect she means the Iranian state itself, which has sanctioned Trump and issued a warrant for his arrest in response to the airstrike against Soleimani. To act on the warrant, Iran would need Trump to visit the country or a country with an extradition treaty with Iran, which is highly unlikely.
Rouhani, whose term as president will end this year — and who is subservient to Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — did not discount the possibility of the Iranian state pursuing Trump in revenge for the rest of his life in his remarks Wednesday.
“We had [never before] seen a US president explicitly announcing that he had assassinated a senior military commander who was a guest in a third country,” Rouhani said, according to Iran’s state-run PressTV. “With what this stupid terrorist did, ‘state terrorism’ was inscribed on the forehead of the United States. Today is the end of the political life of the individual who violated international law and [US] obligations for four years.”
Iran claims that Soleimani, who was in charge of Iran’s external terrorist activities, was responsible for successful campaigns against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Iranian Islamic regime has also repeatedly claimed that the Islamic State was an arm of the U.S. government. In life, Soleimani himself perpetuated this myth by accusing the United States of not doing enough to fight ISIS, at one point stating then-President Barack Obama had not “done a damn thing” to fight the jihadist group.
In reality, the United States, aiding an on-the-ground coalition led by Kurdish forces known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dealt the final blow to the Islamic State in Raqqa, the “capital” of the “state.” Kurdish forces in Iraq were also primarily responsible for the jihadist group’s defeat in Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq and the group’s regional capital. PMF groups participated in some fights against ISIS in Iraq, in some cases even alongside U.S. forces, but played a minor role. The IRGC played no known role in the defeat of ISIS.
Iranian officials have accompanied threats towards Trump with overtures to President Joe Biden, in particular urging him to return to the 2015 JCPOA, which greatly diminished sanctions on Iran. The lifting of sanctions resulted in a $150 billion windfall for Tehran that was mostly invested in terrorist groups in Syria, where Iran supports dictator Bashar al-Assad; Iraq, where it funds the PMF; and Yemen, where it supports the Houthi Shiite terrorist movement, whose motto is “Allah is the greatest, death to America, death to Israel, a curse upon the Jews, victory to Islam.”
Iran repeatedly violated the JCPOA while the United States was in it and increased its uranium enrichment significantly since Trump withdrew from the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, raised the alarm this month that Iran was significantly increasing its uranium enrichment capabilities, prompting Iran to complain that the IAEA should not publicize “unnecessary” information about the program and to claim that the enriched uranium was necessary for “medical” purposes.