A supporter of the Shiite Hezbollah holds a poster of slain Iraqi militia chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (L) and Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (R) in Beirut. Jan 5, 2020. (AFP)

May 12, 2020

Qatar’s state-run broadcaster Al Jazeera published a podcast last week glorifying Iran’s slain Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

A few days later, Al Jazeera deleted the link to the podcast from its Twitter page.

Al Jazeera’s podcast was part of its “Rumooz” series (which is the Arabic word for “icons”), and introduced the episode by saying: “His star has shone in the Iran-Iraq war, then he became the engineer of most of Iran’s foreign battles, leaving his mark on some of the most volatile areas in the region: Syria, Yemen, Iraq and others. His assassination almost ignited a third world war, who is Qassem Soleimani?”

The podcast’s introduction is filled with cinematic music that builds dramatically, leading to the opening statement.

“I am Soleimani, the soldier fighting for the sake of Allah… The name great Satan fears… I am nothing more than a soldier of the Islamic Revolution… A soldier, I thank Allah, for blessing me with martyrdom,” the voice actor says.

The IRGC is designated as a terrorist entity by the US government.

The podcast’s voice actor speaking as Soleimani said: “We defended Syria, its people, and the whole region against the American-Zionist conspiracy and terrorism, and Iran has become a source of stability in Syria… We helped them using our experience through non-military jihadi groups.”

“Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad Movement are not proxy groups, but are our brothers and partners in the resistance project against the Zionist regime.”

US President Donald Trump’s administration said after carrying out the airstrike in early January that Soleimani was planning attacks on US personnel in Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere in the Middle East.

“The cowards do not dare to go for direct confrontation. Instead, they attacked my car from the air,” the voice actor said in the podcast.

Qatar officially offered its condolences to Iran over the killing of Soleimani, expressing “sadness and concern,” and the Qatari Foreign Minister clearly stated “We consider ourselves on Iran’s side.”

Doha has deepened its relationship with Tehran since 2017, after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic, trade, and transport ties with the country, accusing it of supporting terrorism – a charge Doha denies.

The quartet had also demanded Qatar shut down Al Jazeera media network, which they said incited terrorism and was a mouthpiece for extremists.

Al Arabiya

About Track Persia

Track 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.