US assassinates Soleimani to have more room for involvement in region

TEHRAN, Jan. 05 (MNA) – Commenting on General Qasem Soleimani's role in challenging the US policy in the Middle East, Mehmet Ogutcu former Turkey's prime minister advisor said that the US wanted to remove him to decrease the Iranian influence and operations and increase US involvement in the region.

General Qasem Soleimani who was martyred by a US airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump at Baghdad International Airport on Friday, was hailed as a charismatic brave hero in Iran and beloved by the troops. Once, Iran's leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called him a "living martyr".

Soleimani devoted his life to defend Iran's national interest in the region so he is considered as a national hero for Iranian people regardless of their different political and religious tendencies.

Many believe that Soleimani was not only a national hero for Iranian people but also he was a person who played a significant role in defeating ISIL which is a real threat for the region and even for Europe, Caucuses and Central Asia. He also had a great role in confronting the US regional policy and plans aiming at redesigning the map of countries in the Middle East.

To know more insight about the issue, we have reached out to Mehmet Ogutcu, Chairman of the London Energy Club. 

Ogutcu said, “As we know, Iran has in the past collaborated with the US in fighting ISIS and Al Qaida across Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan as it also fits Tehran’s strategic objectives. Rafsanjani revealed such support from Iran."

“ In particular, Tehran supported Kurdish peshmerga in resisting the domination of ISIS in northern Iraq. General Qasem Soleiman was also the one who persuaded Putin to come to the rescue of Esad In Damascus," he added.

“However, there was also a significant divergence of interests with the US in certain other regions including the Persian Gulf, Israel, and Central Asia, where it turned into a zero-sum game. Iran and Turkey remain the strongholds in the region preventing any redrawing of geopolitical and energy maps, as declared by the US military establishment," he noted.

Ogutcu went on to say, “General Qasem Soleimani was in charge of wide-ranging covert military and intelligence operations, most recently in Iraq, advancing Iran’s geopolitical and military clout since 1998. The US wanted to remove him so that the Iranian influence and operations in the region could be dealt a severe blow, curtailed and more room would be made for greater US involvement. It is likely that we will see the tit-for-tat escalation of further conflict across the region in the aftermath of this assassination which hurt Iran’s national pride and which will create the conflict to spread." 

Interview by Zahra Mirzafarjouyan

News Code 154149

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