November 3, 2016
A well-heard narrative appeared Monday that high-ranking Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani took shots at President Obama and U.S. foreign policy, with outlets such as Reuters and the Associated Press (AP) featuring his comments as a blistering rebuke of the United States’s presence in the Middle East. Unlike the selective comments indicated, Soleimani was not condemning a lack of effort against ISIS on America’s part, but implying that President Obama was intentionally aiding the terrorist group.
Soleimani said that the U.S. had “no will” in fighting ISIS, and that President Obama “has not done a damn thing so far to confront [ISIS].” What Reuters and the AP only vaguely mentioned was the fact that Soleimani’s remarks were premised on a conspiracy that the United States had struck an alliance with the Islamic State terror group, while driving home his solution: that only Iran could be responsible for “saving” the Middle East.
In an article titled, “US in league with ISIL,” Iran’s state-run Mehr News Agency reports:
The commander of IRGC Quds forces Major. Gen. Qasem Soleimani has said US failure to stop ISIL attacks despite presence in Iraq proves its alliance with the terrorist group.
Mehr then quoted when Soleimani promoted the conspiracy theory. “How is it possible for US troops to be present in Ramadi under the pretext of supporting Iraqi nation and yet do nothing to stop the killings there,” the Iranian General said. “Can this fact mean anything other than their involvement in the conspiracy?” he added, according to the report.
Iran’s state-run Press TV also reported Soleimani as saying that the U.S. and the Islamic State had joined forces. “This is not [sic] but complicity in [a] conspiracy,” Soleimani remarked, according to Press TV.
Soleimani, as commander of Iran’s Quds Force, holds major power in Tehran, as he oversees the military dimension of the export of Tehran’s Islamic revolution. Soleimani’s Quds force is known for its military support to terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. The paramilitary unit has also frequently assisted the Assad regime during the ongoing Syrian Civil War, and has fought side-by-side with Iraqi Shiite militias.