62-year-old deceased Iranian general Qasem Suleimani was one of the most significant political and military figures of the Shiite bloc in the Middle East. His military career path repeated the famous formula of Napoleon: “Every soldier carried his Marshal's baton in his knapsack.” That is, being from lower socio-economic backgrounds, having talents, perseverance and courage, he was able to achieve the highest state positions in the power hierarchy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At the age of 23, he became a lieutenant in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and at the age of 30, he led the infantry division. He was one of the heroes of the Iran-Iraq war if the term "heroes" could be used to participants in that war. What is important, Suleimani is the flesh of the Islamic revolution and could be called its unconditional product. A man who loved sports and attended theological sermons. In addition, he was a devoted soldier of Rahbar and a conductor of the idea of developing the world imamate as a global Shiite project. Therefore, Suleimani believed that nuclear weapons are necessary to protect the Persian civilization, as such, because it exists in an extremely hostile environment.
In 1997, Suleimani became the head of the elite special unit, El Quds, responsible for conducting military operations outside of Iran. In fact, from this moment he begins to direct Iran’s foreign policy, therefore he is one of the architects of modern political reality in the Middle East. A reality, in which terror and Shiite-Sunni confrontation reign. Suleimani, as a strong man with the thinking of a strategist, was able to bring to life many of his dark plans in practice, in particular, and because he had been at the post for a very long time.
His project was the “Shia crescent:” a conditional alliance of Shiite forces in the Middle East region, which included the Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi, and Syrian units Kataib Hezbollah, Yemeni rebels Ansar Allah (Hussites), as well as a number of smaller terrorist organizations in many countries of the region. In a certain way, the Palestinian Hamas movement, which has already called Suleimani a “martyr hero,” is on the balance sheet of Al-Quds.
The Arabs rightly believe that the subversive activities of Suleimani led to the degradation of the statehood of Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. In the latter case, it is believed in 2015 Suleimani convinced the Russians to take part in a military operation in support of President Assad’s regime, although Moscow denied this. To a large extent, Suleimani, who was called the Shadow, controlled the situation in Syria and Iraq, and this was certainly very hindering the Russians.
Suleimani’s attempt to completely control all of Iraq and organize a New Year’s attack on the US embassy was his last special operation. In the USA, the liquidation of Suleimani is explained by his preparation for attacks on American citizens. Although it is already known that due to the activities of Suleimani supporters in Iraq, hundreds of US soldiers have died in this country, and plans to eliminate it have existed since at least 2007.
Despite the fact that now demonstrative sadness reigns in Iran and three-day mourning has been proclaimed, not everyone is bored. Suleimani had many opponents in the power elite of Iran, both among the military and among politicians. He was envied by many of the fellow generals who are now moving up the career ladder. Suleimani was also considered a candidate for the presidential election in 2021, and now his rivals, such as Ali Motahhari, Ali Larijani, Eshaq Jahangiri, are increasing their chances of winning.
Although the Iranian leadership announced that Suleimani’s murderers will face heavy retaliation, talking about a large-scale escalation of the situation in the region will be an exaggeration. Conversely, given the loss of coordination, numerous Iranian allies and proxy fighters in the region may be demoralized and disorganized. There are rumors that Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and the leader of the Yemeni Ansar Allah Abdul-Malik al-Khusi are the next goals for liquidation.
However, Israel, which is traditionally considered the main target for attacks in Tehran, can expect the most dangers. Also, if we talk about symmetrical Iranian response, then the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, who is considered the main fighter against Iranian expansion in the region, falls into the danger zone. It is important to note that the special services of both countries took part in the operation to symbolically eliminate Suleimani.
Does the Middle East would face a catastrophe after the death of Suleimani – no. Would it become safer after the death of Suleimani – no.