Iran’s new Quds Force chief will meet SAME FATE as slain Gen. Soleimani if he follows path of killing Americans – US envoy
A top US diplomat took aim at Esmail Ghaani who succeeded the murdered General Soleimani, threatening that the new head of Iran’s elite unit may end up like his famed predecessor if he’s into killing Americans.
If General Esmail Ghaani, the newly appointed chief of the Quds Force – the secretive part of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – “follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said in an interview with the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
“We will hold the regime and its agents responsible for any attack on Americans or American interests in the region,” Hook continued, not elaborating further.
The thinly veiled threat comes as the world recovers from the Iran-US standoff caused by the targeted killing of General Qassem Soleimani outside of Baghdad Airport in early January. His death, as Hook puts it, will “create a vacuum that the [Iranian] regime will not be able to fill,” as, according to the envoy, Soleimani represented the force that gathered together “Iran’s agents in the region”.
Soleimani, who led the Quds Force for over two decades, was one of the most powerful yet famed military leaders in Iran, and an architect of anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) operations in neighboring Syria and Iraq. His killing, in a surprise drone strike ordered directly by the White House, almost took the region to the brink of war.
Whereas Washington insisted Soleimani was orchestrating attacks on US assets in Iraq, Tehran called it an act of “international terrorism” and pledged a heavy-handed response. Within days, it responded with a double missile strike on US bases in Iraq, causing no casualties among Western troops but inflicting significant damage on those installations. Tehran warned Iraq of the incoming attack, allowing the US to move its troops to safety. Meanwhile, experts noted how precise the strikes were.
Like his longtime friend Soleimani, General Ghaani also rose to prominence during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. He was appointed deputy chief of Quds back in 1997, and became the head of the unit the day after Soleimani was killed.
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