June 29, 2020
Iranian news websites on Saturday reported that slain Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani’s daughter Zeynab has married the son of Sayyed Hashim Safi al-Din (Saffieddin), the number two leader in the Lebanese Hezbollah.
The news is based on an Instagram post by Zeynab Mughniyah, the daughter of slain Hezbollah Commander Imad Mughniyah. Zeynab Mughniyah posted an image of what appears to be a wedding decorative vignette with the names Zeynab Soleimani and Sayyed Reza Hashim Safi al-Din. The Soleimani family have neither confirmed nor denied the news which has been on almost every website since late Saturday.
The groom’s uncle, Abdallah Safi al-Din is the official representative of Hezbollah in Tehran.
Zeynab Soleimani is 29 years old and has studied humanities at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University. Her father, Major-General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Baghdad on January 3. After her father’s death, Zeinab became a celebrity among Iranian hardliners and apparently also among some Shiites in Lebanon.
Zeynab was first seen in the public domain in the footage of Khamenei’s visit to the Soleimani home for condolences following the commander’s death. A few days later at her father’s funeral in Tehran, she delivered a fiery speech in which she called the Hezbollah Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah her “uncle” and called on him to avenge her father’s death. This was the first time ever a woman had addressed a prayer congregation led by Khamenei. Later while delivering a speech at the Friday prayers in Kerman she delivered another speech – highly unusual for a woman — leaning on a rifle.
Zeynab somehow has close relations with Lebanon. After her father’s death, on January 23, she delivered a speech in an event organized by Hezbollah Women’s Affairs in Beirut. She spoke in Arabic with “nearly perfect” Lebanese accent which surprised many. She also met with Nasrallah and posted a professionally made video of the meeting on Twitter.
Almost nothing has been reported about the groom except that he is Safi al-Din’s son. Safi al-Din is a senior Hezbollah official and a Qom-educated cleric. He is the maternal cousin of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrollah. Safi al-Din who was designated a terrorist by the U.S. State Department in July 2018 is considered as the number two in Hezbollah leadership.
The timing of the marriage has raised some eyebrows in Iran as marriages are normally avoided before the first death anniversary of a close family member.