Statue of Iranian Terror Chief Qasem Soleimani Torched Hours After Being Unveiled

FILE- In this Sept. 18, 2016 file photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran. The long shadow war between Israel and Iran has burst into the open in recent days, with …
Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File

Iran’s effort to deify terrorist mastermind Gen. Qasem Soleimani on the second anniversary of his death in a U.S. airstrike hit a snag Thursday when a statue of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander was set on fire by persons unknown within hours of its unveiling in the southwestern city of Shahrekord.

The statue, which portrayed Soleimani as a towering, visionary leader, was set ablaze on the evening of the same day it was revealed to the public.

“This treacherous crime was carried out in darkness, just like the other crime committed at night at Baghdad airport,” fumed local cleric Mohammad Ali Nekounam, referring to the January 3, 2020, drone strike that liquidated Soleimani while he was organizing terrorist attacks against Americans in Iraq.

Iranian state broadcaster IRIB condemned the destruction of the statue as “insulting.”

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition group of Iranian expatriates devoted to overthrowing the theocratic regime, on Thursday claimed “resistance units” destroyed the statue of “mass murderer” Soleimani.

Despite Iran’s frequent claims to the contrary, Soleimani’s status as a legitimate military target has never been seriously disputed. Iraqi Shiite militia coordinated by the IRGC general launched several rocket attacks on bases housing U.S. personnel in the weeks before his death. One of those attacks killed a civilian U.S. military contractor.

Before that, Soleimani was responsible for organizing attacks that killed hundreds of Americans deployed to Iraq.

Iran marked both the first and second anniversaries of Soleiman’s death with state-organized commemorative events and belligerent threats to avenge him. On Monday, two armed “suicide drones” were intercepted while attacking a base housing U.S. troops located near the civilian airport in Baghdad. One of the drones had the words “Soleimani’s Revenge” written on the side.

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