May 20, 2020
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani approved a resolution by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution to launch a new award named after slain military commander Qassem Soleimani, who was targeted by a US airstrike last January.
The award is granted in the main category of “struggle and resistance” and six sub-fields of “people and society”, “culture and art”, “politics”, “education and research”, “media”, and “sports”.
A 19-member body would oversee the award to be held biennially. The body consists of representatives from militias and factions allied with Tehran including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine Jihad, and Houthis. It also includes, inter alia, the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Minister, and the head of the state-run Radio and Television Organization.
The body would set general policies of culture and education in the country on all levels, as well.
The award will be presented to individuals from “the field of struggle and resistance,” IRNA said. Iran uses the term “resistance axis” to describe its network of proxies, allies, and terrorist organizations in the region.
This isn’t the first time Iran declares publicly its link to armed factions and militias in the regions, after the killing of Soleimani upon orders by US President Trump in Baghdad. Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, appeared in a press conference earlier and behind him, several flags of Tehran allies were raised. This stirred criticism from close circles at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it indirectly proves the US criticism against the IRGC regarding its role outside the Iranian borders.