Iran: a year after Soleimani's assassination, Tehran fears an American attack

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Tehran on September 18, 2016. AP

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

Just a year ago, on January 3, 2020, Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq.

The Iranian high-ranking official commanded the Al-Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards.

He embodied Tehran's influence in regional crises.


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In the war in Syria, at the head of Iranian forces supporting Bashar al-Assad, or in Iraq, alongside the Shiite militiamen fighting against the Islamic State group, Qassem Soleimani had in recent years become a hero of the Islamic Republic of Iran .


elimination of the Iranian general

was one of the most spectacular acts of the policy of

maximum pressure

 " on Iran

during the four years of Trump's presidency.

And Tehran could only afford limited revenge by firing missiles at American bases in Iraq, recalls

Nicolas Falez

, of the international service of RFI.

Revenge which turned into a fiasco since in the climate of extreme tension which reigned then, the Iranian anti-aircraft defense downed a Ukrainian civilian plane, killing the 176 people on board.

A shadow that still hangs

A year after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq is still weakened by its double alliance with Tehran and Washington. 

Joe Biden is about to enter the White House where he wants to relaunch the Iran nuclear deal.

But for the president-elect, as for his allies, future negotiations with Tehran must include Iran's role in the crises in the Middle East, where the shadow of Qassem Soleimani still looms.

Respond to " 

any act

 " of the United States

Iran will retaliate against " 

any action of the enemy,

 " the head of the Revolutionary Guards, the country's ideological army, warned on Saturday, referring to growing tensions with the United States, during an inspection of troops stationed on a key island in the Gulf.

We are here today to ensure our naval power against the enemies who boast and threaten us

 ," Major General Hossein Salami said on the island of Abu Moussa, according to Sepahnews, the official Guardians website. of the revolution.

The island of Abu Moussa is located near the entrance to the strategic Strait of Hormuz through which passes a fifth of the world's oil production.

American aircraft carrier in the Gulf

This Friday, January 1, the head of the Judicial Authority in Iran, Ebrahim Raïssi, had already promised that the perpetrators of General Soleimani's assassination would be

nowhere safe



The day before, the head of Iranian diplomacy Mohammad Javad Zarif had accused the outgoing US President Donald Trump of seeking to fabricate " 

a pretext

 " to launch " 

a war

 ", at a time when tensions between the two enemies are mounting again.    

The American aircraft carrier USS Nimitz was deployed at the end of November in the Gulf, while two American B-52 bombers flew over the region on December 10 in a show of force directed in particular against Iran.

According to the

New York Times,

US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller has since ordered the return of the Nimitz.

A "




sent to Tehran to avoid conflict, writes the American daily, citing an official.


To read also: Did Donald Trump have the right to act unilaterally to eliminate Soleimani?


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  • Iran

  • United States

  • Donald trump

  • Iraq

  • Joe biden

On the same subject

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Did Donald Trump have the right to act unilaterally to eliminate Soleimani?