Gen. Soleimani champion of seeking peace, says Iran FM

Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif described the martyred former commander of the IRGC Qods Forces Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani not only as the champion of fighting terrorists but also as the hero of seeking peace.

Speaking in a TV program on Sunday night, FM Zarif referred to the honorable martyr Soleimani’s diplomatic efforts, noting that Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), had never surrendered in diplomatic negotiations.

The top diplomat remembered that when he was Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, he enjoyed Soleimani’s advice for negotiations. The general’s recommendations were very useful, Zarif added.

General Soleimani had a distinguished character, who gave importance to ending any struggle, namely wars in Afghanistan and Syria, he said, noting that every peace proposal that Iran suggested for the regional developments, Soleimani proposed and supported them.

He also recalled his interview with an Afghan TV network, when he highlighted that Soelimani was the main individual who played a key role in succeeding the Bonn Conference for peace in Afghanistan.

As to the Saudi-imposed war on Yemen, he stated that General Soleimani helped the Iranian diplomatic team propose ceasefire for the war-torn country, but the Saudis changed their mind and refused to accept the recommended ceasefire, and claimed that they would win the war within three weeks.

Zarif went on to say that Russia invited Soleimani to visit Moscow and the trip was very important, because he had a significant capability to convince the other side when it came to negotiations.

Referring to General Soleimani’s martyrdom on January 3, 2020, Zarif recalled that he woke up at 4:30 a.m. Tehran time and saw a message on his cellphone about possible martyrdom of General Soleimani in Iraq.

Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs started its work from that morning, because the Iranian officials knew that the US sought to portrait a distorted image of the great martyr; so, Iran tried to stop American and Zionist mainstream media from spreading false news about the terrorist act, he noted.

The American officials were scared of General Soleimani’s ingenuity especially on the battle ground, because he defeated the Americans in Syria and Yemen, the top diplomat stipulated.

Zarif also said that he and Soleimani never discussed about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, adding that their talks had always been about regional developments.

He further underlined that they had differences on some issues, but the disagreements had never affected their friendship and their support for helping each other.

Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandes were assassinated in a drone attack on their motorcade at Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.