The Murderous Past of Soleimani’s Replacement


Esmail Ghaani the new godfather of terror in Iran after Soleimani

On January 8, 2019, United Press International (UPI) published an article by former Member of European Parliament Struan Stevenson entitled “Iran’s Esmail Ghaani is the new godfather of terror.” The article describes the murderous credentials of new Quds Force Chief Esmail Ghaani and his goals as he replaces his predecessor Qassem Soleimani, who was recently killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Ghaani’s Brutal Past

62-year-old Esmail Ghaani served as Soleimani’s deputy for twenty years, rising through the ranks of the Quds Force quickly due to his role in crushing the Kurdish uprising that followed the 1979 Revolution. According to Stevenson, Ghaani’s primary function was to provide support for the regime’s terrorist proxies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Africa.

In 2012 Ghaani was added to the United States’ terrorist watchlist after 13 shipping containers bound for Gambia were intercepted by Nigerian authorities. According to Stevenson, the containers, which were labeled “packages of glass, wool, and pallets of stone,” actually contained 107mm Katyusha rockets, rifle ammunition and other weapons.

Stevenson wrote than in 2014 Ghaani turned his attention to the Middle East, where he organized a genocidal campaign against civilians in Iraq during the war against the Islamic State. Hundreds of thousands of Sunnis from Fallujah, Ramadi, and Mosul were ethnically cleansed under Ghaani’s direction, according to Stevenson.

Stevenson also noted Ghaani’s involvement with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which he has publicly spoken about as if it were an accomplishment. He also took over command of the Iranian regime’s proxy forces in Aleppo, Syria after the death of IRGC commander Hossein Hamedani in October 2015. This promotion allowed him the opportunity to assist Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in his ruthless and bloody massacre of his own people.

Ghaani’s Goals as Quds Chief

According to Stevenson, Ghaani wasted no time in securing his new role as Quds Force chief, meeting with Hamas leaders immediately following Soleimani’s funeral to discuss relations with the terrorist group. The Iranian regime has provided financial support, weapons, and training to Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, since 2007, when they seized control of the Gaza Strip.

Ghaani also vowed to seek “harsh revenge” for the death of Soleimani, though it is unclear what form this revenge will take. Stevenson pointed out that Ghaani is now answerable to only regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In a vague but menacing statement, Ghaani said, “We promise to continue down the martyr Soleimani’s path as firmly as before with the help of God and in return for his martyrdom we aim to get rid of America from the region.”

How Will This Affect the MEK Iran?

Ultimately, wrote Stevenson, Ghaani’s reputation as a brutal crime boss and his tough talk may be enough to satisfy the regime’s leaders, but it will not deter the people of Iran from their struggle to topple the mullahs and put an end to the corrupt theocracy that has plundered Iran’s wealth and spread conflict and terror throughout the Middle East.

Ghaani’s predecessor, Soleimani, oversaw the killing of 1,500 protesters and the arrests of 12,000 more in the November Uprising at the end of last year. Resistance Units from Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK Iran) played a large role in organizing and leading these protests, and they will not be deterred by the latest thug to ascend to the top of the regime’s crime family, wrote Stevenson.

New protests have broken out since Ghaani’s promotion after regime forces shot down an airliner filled with Iranian students by mistake. Once again, the streets are full of protesters calling for regime change, and MEK Iran is there in support of a free Iran. The villains may be new, but the story is the same. The fight will not end until Iran is free.

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