Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 11, 2020—In a rare admission, Mohammad Ali Jafari, the former commander of the notorious Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), said on Sunday that Qassem Soleimani, the former head of the IRGC Quds Force, was directly involved in the regime's violent crackdown on Iran’s student protests in 1999 and nationwide protests in 2009.
Jafari tweeted, “During the 1999 and 2009 seditions, Haj Qassem was on the streets to fight the anti-revolutionaries and took effective measures to contain the insecurity and riots.” Jafari also said that Soleimani regularly stayed at the Sarallah Garrison, the main IRGC base in Tehran which is tasked with suppressing protests in the capital and preserving the regime’s security.
Former IRGC Chief Mohammad Ali Jafari's tweet
Soleimani, who was at the helm of the regime’s foreign terror apparatus for more than 20 years, was killed in a U.S.-led drone strike on January 3 in Iraq. Iranian officials went to great lengths to portray Soleimani as a national hero who defended Iran’s borders and enjoyed popularity among the Iranian people. The Iranian regime circulated Soleimani’s remains across Iran and claimed that millions of people attended his funeral. At the same time, the state-run media resorted to widespread propaganda, broadcasting shows in which children were forced to revere Soleimani.
Soleimani’s role in spreading terror in the Middle East was a known and acknowledged fact. Months before his death, the Quds Force commander was fast busy suppressing protests in Iraq and dispatching snipers to shoot down demonstrators in Iraq’s streets. Soleimani was also key to the suppression of protests and the opposition movement in Syria and oversaw the Iranian regime’s intervention in this country to prop up the Assad regime.
Soleimani also played a pivotal role in murdering dissidents abroad, especially members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). He orchestrated several attacks against MEK members in Iraq, including rocket attacks against Camp Liberty and a bloody massacre of 52 unarmed residents of Camp Ashraf in 2013.
Jafari’s remarks are significant in this respect, because the regime had taken care not to highlight Soleimani’s role in the suppression of protests inside Iran. This latest revelation is a clear indication of the regime’s blatant lies about Soleimani.
Iranian officials and state-run media were quick to reject Jafari’s remarks to save face for the now-dead Soleimani. On Monday, Ramezan Sharif, the IRGC’s spokesperson, said, “The tweet is not correct. Haj Qassem had no responsibility or presence in the Sarallah Garrison.”
Fars News Agency, run by the IRGC, claimed that Jafari’s twitter account was fake and was not run by Jafari himself. Interestingly, Jafari himself has remained silent.
Jafari himself was the head of the IRGC until May 2019, after which he was removed from his post under suspicious conditions, with strong evidence alluding to his defection due to increasing growing domestic protests and increasing international pressure.
In the past weeks, following Soleimani’s death, in response to the Iranian regime’s propaganda, the Iranian people have been tearing down and torching posters of Qassem Soleimani in different Iranian cities. In many Iranian cities, the people distributed pastries and candies in celebration of the death of one of the key figures of the regime. Iranians abroad also celebrated Soleimani’s death.
Jafari’s remarks about Soleimani’s role in suppressing the Iranian people came at a sensitive time for the Iranian regime. This week will mark the 40th day of Soleimani’s death. Shiite Muslims mourn for their dead on the third, seventh and 40th days of their passing. Itis also the 41st anniversary of Iran’s 1979 revolution. The regime aimed to revere its terrorist commander on this occasion and resort to more propaganda, tying him to the revolution of the Iranian people.