Ayatollah Khamenei welcomed IRGC commanders including Qassem Soleimani, second left, in a ceremony in Tehran, May 2017. (IRNA)

February 15, 2020

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is “oppressed” and “alone,” reads part of slain military commander Qassem Soleimani’s will, published on Thursday.

“I find Ayatollah Khamenei very oppressed and alone. He needs your cooperation and assistance and together you should lead society,” Soleimani said in part of his will, addressing clerics and religious authorities in Iran.

Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike on Baghdad’s international airport on January 3, to which Iran retaliated by launching several ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases housing US troops a few days later.

In his will, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force – the overseas arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – called on religious authorities in Iran to support Khamenei and the Islamic Republic “without any reservation.”

He also called on political factions in Iran – namely the Conservatives and the Reformists – to follow Khamenei, “listen to his advice,” and “act on his recommendations.”

Soleimani described the Islamic Republic as the center of Islam and Shi’ism, adding that it is currently experiencing its “most glorious period.”

“You should know that the Islamic Republic is a sanctuary … if the enemy destroys this sanctuary, no sanctuary – neither the sanctuaries belonging to Ibrahim nor Muhammad – will remain,” he said, likening the regime to a holy religious site.

The former head of the Quds Force is referring to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and the Green Dome in the Islamic holy city of Medina.

Al Arabiya

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.