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Jihad Sermon 27

 

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech at the Memorial Service of Martyrs Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, Companions

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech at the Memorial Service of Martyrs Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, Companions
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Translated by Staff

Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech at the memorial service of two martyred commanders Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

5-1-2020

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.
 
Esteemed scholars, brothers and sisters, peace and Allah's mercy and blessing be upon you all.

Allah Almighty in his glorious book says, {In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision. Rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them - that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. They receive good tidings of favor from Allah and bounty and [of the fact] that Allah does not allow the reward of believers to be lost. Allah Almighty has spoken the truth.}

Today we are holding a memorial service to honor a great international Islamic jihadi leader Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force and a great leader. We are also honoring Mujahid Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq as well as their Iranian and Iraqi companions who were martyred in the latest crime.

January 2, 2020 is a date that separates two stages in the region. It is the beginning of a new phase, a new history, not just for Iran or Iraq, but for the whole region. I will talk about this later.

But first, allow me to talk a little bit about this incident, crime and assassination on a personal level.

On Thursday evening – now, I will keep saying Thursday evening – on January 2, 2020, Hajj Qassim Soleimani, the beloved and dear brother, fulfilled his hopes and aspirations. He achieved his goal. Don’t we always talk about achieving goals? Or whether this action will achieve our goals or the goals of the enemy? Hajj Qassem Soleimani achieved his goal on Friday. 

When remembering the martyrs, I always describe the martyrdom of the Mujahideen and the leaders as a personal project. They do not want martyrdom for the Ummah. They want good and prosperous life for the Ummah. They want happiness for the Ummah in this life and pride and dignity in the Hereafter. They want strength for the Ummah and life under God’s grace. However, on a personal level, their project is martyrdom.

This was his intention since he was young and joined the battle on Iran’s frontlines. This wish, this goal and this objective remained with him. There are two types of people who walk on this path. There are those who make it only quarter of the way or halfway before the flame of this goal subsides. The desire for it withers. The longing dies. On the other hand, there are people who desire it more with the passage of time. The desire becomes stronger and ever-present.

Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were of the second type, especially in the past few years. When a person grows old and sees his gray hair and beard, he gets scared of dying from illness or in bed. Hajj Qassem was always on the frontlines, under shelling, and his body was full of shrapnel. In the past few years, when Hajj Qassem came to Syria, the brothers [in the Islamic Resistance] managed his security and protection. They stayed with him night and day until he would return to Damascus airport. He spent many nights crying. When the martyrs were brought up, he would cry. In many of the meetings, he used to tell me ‘I am fed up with this world as I am so eager to meet Allah and the martyrs who have passed.’ 

Most of his brothers, friends and the loved ones he lived with, fought with and suffered with were gone. He was really eager to follow them. 

In any case, he fulfilled this wish. And this consoles us all – his loved ones, his friends and brothers.
 
From here, from Dahiyeh [the southern suburb of Beirut], I tell the family of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, all his relatives and family members, especially to his virtuous wife, his sons and daughters: 

What should console you is that your father fulfilled his greatest wish. I know that you know better than me that this has always been Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s goal, hope, aspiration and longing.

The same goes for Hajj Abu Mahdi. Two or three months ago, he visited me here in Dahiyeh where we sat for hours. At the end of the meeting, he told me: O Sayyed, the battle with Daesh in Iraq seems to be drawing to a close. Many have been martyred, and I am still alive. I am growing old. My hair and beard are turning gray. Pray to God that my end is through martyrdom. Also, I tell Hajj Abu Mahdi’s virtuous wife and daughters: This should be a consoling factor to all of you. This is the case with all the beloved martyrs who were martyred with Hajj Qassim and Hajj Abu Mahdi.

This is on a personal level. Let us end this part and move directly to the topic at hand. Today, these hopes were fulfilled. In our faith, martyrdom is among two of the most important things. Either victory or martyrdom. One of the wonders of our faith is how the equations change. The most our enemy can do is kill us. And the most we can aspire to is to be killed in the cause of Allah Almighty. The equation in our faith converts the enemy's maximum strength into our maximum strength. Hence, we cannot be defeated. When we achieve victory, we are victorious. When we are martyred, we are victorious. Thursday night was also a day of victory for the resistance, the axis of resistance and the men of the resistance. It will be a new model for the victory of blood against the sword, God willing.

Congratulations to Hajj Qassem, to Hajj Abu Mahdi and their honorable Iranian and Iraqi mujahideen companions for attaining this great martyrdom, this good outcome, and this beautiful conclusion. In the school of al-Husain and Zainab (Peace Be Upon Them), we yearn for martyrdom, and we only see beauty in things.

Second, we get to the heart of the matter. Today, I will speak candidly about this major and decisive event and what exactly happened? Why did it happen? Why were Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi targeted? What are the objectives? Where is the region headed? And finally, what is our stance, what is our duty, what is our responsibility? Because I said that we are now at a completely new stage [of the confrontation against the United States].

Of course, the following will not be the topic of my speech. But if I wanted to talk about the personality of Hajj Qassem, his qualities, his traits, his piety, his courage, his aptitudes, his knowledge, his strategic thinking, his humility and all these beautiful qualities that he possessed, if I wanted to talk about his successes, his efforts, his jihad, his sacrifices, and the same for Hajj Abu Mahdi, I would have to speak for hours, days and weeks. But we will talk about this another time, God willing. What I have to touch on is the heart of the matter, in order to base our reaction on the facts. 

Firstly, what happened? On Thursday night, January 2 – I will take two minutes to clarify all this in detail, because this will be the basis of my entire speech – Hajj Qassem and his comrades publicly left Damascus Airport for Baghdad Airport. At Baghdad airport, Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, accompanied by his brothers from the leadership of the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Shaabi), were waiting to greet him. After they got into the cars and drove a certain distance, the whole convoy was struck by sophisticated missiles from the sky. They were fired from American planes, in a barbaric manner. You all saw the images. The destruction of the cars and the dislocation of everything inside them were guaranteed by the barbarity of the strike. Our two dear commanders with all those who accompanied them were martyred. All of them turned into torn and burnt shreds that were very difficult to identify.

Let me say that Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi and the brothers who accompanied them looked forward to martyrdom. I know that Soleimani ardently desired martyrdom. But perhaps what happened to him exceeded his expectations. He ended up headless like Imam Hussein and without hands like al-Abbas. His body was completely torn to pieces like Ali al-Akbar. I don’t know if that is what Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi had in mind.

In any case, they all became shredded and burnt parts that were very difficult to identify. After a few hours, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a statement in which it claimed responsibility for the operation, stating that the assassination was carried out on the orders of President Trump. That was followed by press releases and conferences taking credit for the operation by the U.S. secretary of state, the defense secretary, the national security advisor, up to Trump himself in his various Tweets, in which he boasts of having personally ordered the assassination of Hajj Soleimani. He even gives reasons that led him to do so, which are all lies.

So, we are faced with a public and perfectly clear crime. The one who ordered it admits to having done so himself: Trump. The perpetrator of the assassination makes his guilt clear. It’s the U.S. defense secretary, the U.S. military, and American forces operating in the region, whether inside or outside Iraq is merely a detail.

Consequently, we are not facing a vague assassination operation, such as a car bomb, a suicide attack, an ambush by unknown perpetrators, which would require a commission of inquiry to identify the culprits, with assumptions and uncertainties, etc. Not at all. We are faced with an extremely clear and blatant crime, for which the U.S. claims responsibility. These are the two lines on which we must base our response: U.S. President Trump ordered the U.S. military to commit this crime, and U.S. military forces did it in the manner I mentioned. Things are therefore very clear.

Secondly, why was this crime committed so openly and so publicly? Everything was done openly. It was claimed formally and publicly. Trump boasting about it in front of the whole world, so as to leave no doubt. There are two reasons for this.

The first is the failure of all previous assassination attempts ‘without fingerprints’, without leaving traces or evidence. Several attempts have been made. Some attempts to assassinate Hajj Qassem have been made public, others remain secret to this day. In the last attempt you saw the satanic and infernal mind of the Americans and the “Israelis” through what they prepared to liquidate Hajj Qassem in Kerman. The group preparing the assassination was arrested after bringing the explosives there. They planned to buy a house near a Husseiniya and to dig a tunnel from that house to reach the basement of the Husseiniya. Then they wanted to place an enormous quantity of explosives there. Hajj Qassem used to go to this Husseiniya every year to mark mourning ceremonies. Between 4,000 to 5,000 people usually attend these ceremonies. They wanted to kill 5,000 people in the Husseiniya to make sure they killed Hajj Qassem Soleimani. Look at this criminal mentality. God Almighty protected him and postponed his martyrdom. He chose for him this type of martyrdom, as His Eminence the Supreme Leader said, because he deserves this type of martyrdom, this level of martyrdom. Thus, the failure of all previously secret assassination attempts prompted them to resort to public action and to act openly.

The second point, which explains this action in this precise context and in this public way, is the set of circumstances in our region, the failures and successes, the stage of the struggle we have reached and the recent developments in Iraq. Moreover, all this comes ahead of the U.S. presidential elections. This is what I will discuss in detail.

It is by presenting this whole situation in detail that we can all understand it and determine what everyone’s responsibilities are to thwart the objectives of the assassination. This presentation will serve as a basis for facts and not just for the sake of analyzing and presenting. 

The details of this point are as follows. Three years after Trump assumed office, he announced a foreign policy in our region and in the world. When Trump and his administration look at the outcome of the past three years, what would they see? Failure after failure, topped with inability and confusion. There is nothing he can offer the American people at the level of foreign policy, especially in our region, and he is heading to the presidential elections.

If we look at a set of headlines, Iran is at the top: From the first day, Trump set a higher objective, which was to topple the Islamic regime in Iran. This is what John Bolton promised precisely a year ago New Year’s celebrations with Iranian hypocrites in France. He made a speech and promised them that the next year’s celebration would be held in Tehran. So, John Bolton is gone, and the Islamic regime is still in Tehran. This was not John Bolton's policy; he was the national security adviser who was expressing Trump's strategy on Iran. Hence, the higher objective was to topple the Islamic Republic’s regime. At the very least, his objective sought to get Iran to change its behavior. He wanted to subdue Iran, to discipline it, to control Iran's political actions and so on. He wanted to reach a new nuclear deal, an agreement regarding ballistic missiles and an agreement on regional issues.

Iran did not comply. It withdrew from the nuclear agreement. Sanctions on an unparalleled scale in 40 years were imposed on Iran and anyone in the world dealing with Iran. There was an attempt to blockade the country, isolate it and intimidate it. There was a wager on people starving, on a domestic economic crisis and internal divisions – if there were any to begin with. There was a push towards internal strife and an effort to take advantage of all available regional tools. However, all this failed.
So, Trump is heading towards elections. He cannot tell the American people that I overthrew the Islamic Republic regime. He cannot say that I subjugated the regime in the Islamic Republic. He cannot say that I imposed a new nuclear deal on Iran. Even worse, Trump has reached a point where he is asking some European presidents at the United Nations session in New York to mediate [between the US and Iran] so that he can meet with the President of the Islamic Republic, Sheikh Rouhani. And Iran is refusing to meet with Trump.

All of Trump’s policies are intended to bring Iran to the negotiating table, regardless of the [nuclear] deal, under pressure and threats. He said that the Iranians will call him and will eventually come to him. Now, his term is almost coming to an end, and Iran has not come to him nor did anyone call him.

What will he tell the American public regarding this objective? That he failed, and Iran is growing bolder. 

I will talk about Iraq last because of its relation to what happened to Hajj Qassim and Abu Mahdi.

The second headline is Syria. There is clear failure and confusion in Syria. Their project failed in Syria. The last straw was his betrayal of allies or friends – call them what you want – the Qasd militias, the Kurdish fighting groups east of the Euphrates. There was a lot of confusion. At one instance, he makes a decision to pull troops out of the eastern banks of the Euphrates. At another instance, he wants to leave some forces. He made an endless problem regarding the withdrawal of US troops. He ended up leaving a part of the American forces to protect who? They are not there to protect their Kurdish allies but to protect the Syrian oil wells and oil fields – to loot them. He proclaimed this. He said he would talk to oil exploration and export companies to put their hands on the wells and confiscate them. This reflects the American confusion in Syria. He left part of the force east of the Euphrates for oil and a small part in al-Tanf. He said that upon “Israel’s” request and recommendation, he left an American force in al-Tanf because should al-Tanf fall into the hands of the Syrian army, the entire Syrian-Iraqi border and especially the international Rutba crossing would open.

Third, he also failed in Lebanon. All the pressure, all the sanctions, all the incitement and all the money that was spent in Lebanon to tarnish the image of the resistance, to incite the environment of resistance against it and to incite the rest of the Lebanese people against the resistance failed. We all remember the recent invasion by Pompeo of Lebanon and the written war statement he pronounced at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We also remember [David] Satterfield’s various visits that were not reported by the media. But today, I will say it in the media. I said this during a closed session and it was leaked. During Satterfield's last visit, he threatened Lebanese officials. He gave them a 15-day deadline to remove installations belonging to the resistance in the Bekaa. ‘If Hezbollah does not remove them, “Israel” will bomb and destroy these installations. We will impose sanctions on Lebanon in the sanctions, etc.’ He made threats and tried to intimidate. Of course, it was all in vain. “Israel” did not dare attack those installations within 15 days because we told him that if “Israel” bombed these facilities, we would launch a prompt, appropriate and proportionate response. If you remember on the eve of al-Quds Day, I touched on this topic. Therefore, all attempts to curb the resistance in Lebanon, to put pressure on the resistance in Lebanon and take absolute control of Lebanon’s autonomy failed.

In Yemen, due to the steadfastness of the Yemeni people, he was unable to achieve any military gains. The war in Yemen is primarily an American war, an American decision, an American will and an American project. Aside from the massacres and the siege committed by the Saudis, it is not only a Saudi war. 

The fifth is Afghanistan. There he is looking for a way out that would allow him to save face. They are also in a state of confusion there. He sends his ambassador Khalilzad to negotiate with the Taliban in Qatar. They agree, and the Taliban were supposed to meet Trump in the Black House. Trump cancels the meeting the next day. He also cancels the agreement and says the Taliban withdrew from the negotiations. A few days later, he calls for negotiations with the Taliban because he wants to get out of the Afghan predicament. Hence, he has not achieved anything in Afghanistan. 

The sixth is the Deal of the Century. He wanted to realize the Deal of the Century during his first year in office and impose it on the Arab regimes and people and, first and foremost, on the Palestinian people. Where is the Deal of the Century? Who is talking about the Deal of the Century now? This is thanks to the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and leaders. Despite the war on Gaza, the blockade, the sanctions, the hardship the people of the West Bank and the Palestinians are being subjected to inside and outside including economic and livelihood difficulties, threats against the UNRWA, the suffering of the detainees, he [Trump]could not impose the Deal of the Century.

The seventh headline is Iraq which is the bottom line. When I come to my last analysis, I say that he was the one that sped up this move, this crime. What is Trump’s real project in Iraq? We do not need to have secret sources in the CIA and the Pentagon to expose information about his project. No, the man was very clear. Trump was very clear and very transparent because he is arrogant and patronizing. He doesn’t acknowledge anyone standing before him. And he does not acknowledge countries, international law, international institutions, the international community or anything else. During his electoral campaign, what was Trump saying? He said Iraqi oil is our right – America’s right. He covets over some modest oil fields in Syria. There are some modest oil fields east of the Euphrates. Syria’s oil reserves are not comparable to Iraq’s. During his electoral campaign and interviews, he said that Iraq’s oil is our right. We have to put our hands on Iraqi oil until we collect all the money we spent during all these past years in Iraq and in the region. When asked, how will you achieve this, and there is a state in Iraq? I hope you pay attention to this sentence, especially our brothers in Iraq if they are listening to me. He said there is no state in Iraq. There is no state in Iraq. There is nothing called Iraq. Go back to the transcripts and his voice recordings. How will you take over the oil field? We deploy forces stationed around Iraqi oilfields, and we take large areas around it. Then, we establish security belts we control. Then, we extract oil, export it and sell it to the world.

Hence, what has been Trump’s real project in Iraq over the last three years? To seize control of Iraqi oil wells and oil wealth. He does not want a state in Iraq that will prevent him from doing so. Or if there is a state, it must be subject to the U.S. decisions, to the American ambassador and the U.S. army. It must submit to the Americans politically, militarily and in terms of security. But Daesh is the product of the Americans. Trump himself said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the ones who created Daesh. The Americans wanted Daesh to thrive and for the war against it to drag on so that they have an excuse to stay in Iraq. They said the war against Daesh needs 10, 20 or 30 years. Under the pretext of the war against Daesh, U.S. bases around the oil regions will be re-established. Then the U.S. would deplete Iraq’s riches. It will sell weapons to the Iraqis and interfere in their autonomous decisions and weaken the Iraqi state. This is why they had a problem with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and the young men. I will talk about this is a little bit. 

So, this is his real project for Iraq. His project failed. How did it fail? First, with the defeat of Daesh by the Iraqi people, the Iraqi leadership and presiding over them the honorable religious authority in the holy city of Najaf. The Iraqi position was decisive in ending the battle with Daesh as soon as possible. Qassem Soleimani was a key factor in this decision. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was a key factor in this decision. The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the Iraqi resistance factions alongside the Iraqi army and the various security forces, with the support of the Iraqi people as well as the absolute backing and support of the religious authority were able to resolve this battle in a few years.

The Americans had no more excuses to stay in Iraq. After Daesh was defeated and the American role was exposed, calls for U.S. forces to leave Iraq got louder. You said you came to help us defeat Daesh. Now that Daesh has been eliminated, be on your way out. But they don’t want to leave. They want to stay. They used Daesh as a pretext for their military comeback to Iraq and to fulfill their objectives in Iraq. Following Deash’s defeat, Iraq held parliamentary elections. Who won the elections? I do not want to talk about a specific bloc or party. But rather I want to talk about a political direction. The general political direction that won the Iraqi elections is the one that does not submit to the Americans or heed to their orders. On the contrary, it fully thinks or to a great extent thinks about the national interest of the country. The Americans like to call that the Iranian line. This is an inaccurate description.

But the accurate way to describe them is to say that the parliamentary majority in the Council of Representatives includes blocs, parties and national figures that refuse to submit to the American will and American dictates. In light of this majority, a government was formed, a government that bothered the Americans. I do not want to go into details. Rather, I would like to present the relation of this aspect to the Americans. This government headed by Mr. Adel Abdul Mahdi bothered the US policies because it first of all refused to make Iraq part of the campaign against Iran and implement sanctions against it. This means that they stood in the face of America. Second, the Iraqi government headed by Mr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi refused to support the Deal of the Century and contribute to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. Third, the government of Mr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi went to China to sign contracts worth hundreds of billions of dollars to build Iraq and for the prosperity of Iraq without paying money in exchange for projects. The US wanted projects in Iraq for its companies so that it can plunder Iraq through its companies and projects. The government of Mr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi also refused to keep the borders with Syria closed. It insisted on opening the Albukamal crossing. All this political performance infuriated the Americans very much. In addition, a voice in the Council of Representatives was demanding the exit of the American forces. Also, there were certain tensions on the field. So, the Americans have recently felt, as they said, that they are almost losing Iraq! 

The invaded Iraq not to spread democracy, not for the elections and not for the independence of the Iraqi people and their prosperity. They invaded Iraq and overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime to control Iraq and seize its riches. When they found that the Iraqi people wanted stability and to be free, they unleashed on them all their terrorist groups which they created. They brought them from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and all countries of the world. From 2003 until 2011, the people of Iraq faced a wave of suicide operations. Thousands of suicide bombers blew themselves up in mosques, churches, schools, markets and religious sites, killing some of the finest Iraqi leaders and figures. The American occupation officers were the ones facilitating the the movement of these terrorist organizations. 

The Americans recently tried to sow sedition between the Iraqi people. They tried to push the Iraqis into civil war. But the conscious and wise stance of the religious authority and the Iraqi leaderships prevented this. The firm and strong stance of the Iraqi tribes and resistance factions prevented this.

Through their electronic armies and their malicious tools, the Americans sought to cause discord between the Iraqi people and the Iranian people. Why? Because Iran was the best supporter of the Iraqi people. In recent weeks, the Americans have been panicking. They felt that Iraq was slipping from their grip. So, Trump also failed in Iraq. 
All this has taken place before January 2, 2020, before the killing of Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi. Hence, with this failure and inability in the region, what will Trump and the U.S. administration do ahead of the presidential elections?

Yes, let us be realistic as well. There are accomplishments that Trump talks about. I personally follow his speeches. Look at the Arabic translations of his speeches. He is moving from state to state and making addresses. What has he accomplished in foreign policy? Isn't he supposed to present them to the American people since it is election year? What is he telling them regarding his accomplishments in our region and in the world?

In Venezuela, the project to topple the president and the Venezuelan regime failed. In Cuba, he was not able to do anything. He threatened, terrorized, and sent aircraft carriers to North Korea and almost went to war. Then he went to negotiations and deceived the American people that he would disarm North Korea. But there was nothing. 

When it comes to China, Russia and even with his allies and friends, what did he achieve? He even insults his allies and friends, humiliates them on a daily basis, underestimates them, lets them down and abandons them. This is the foreign policy. Yes, regarding the U.S. foreign policy, Trump speaks about three things in his speeches. Unfortunately, all of them are from our region. what does he tell them? Nothing. He does not have a foreign policy. In every speech, he tells them about the 400 billion he took from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He talks about it in a way that ridicules and insults Saudi Arabia. And everyone starts laughing and applauding. This is the first achievement.

The second achievement is the arms sales to Arab countries worth tens of billions of dollars. He tells the American people about the 400 billion dollars and tens of billions of dollars in arms deals. He tells them he secured hundreds of thousands of jobs, and they applaud him.

The third achievement is the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds (Jerusalem). These are his three achievements; the plunder of Arab and Muslim money and the attack on the city of al-Quds and the sanctities of the Arabs, the Muslims and the Christians. These are his accomplishments. Apart from these, what did he achieve? Let someone show me his other foreign policy achievements.

Faced with all these failures and Iraq posing a direct challenge to the U.S., Trump therefore decided to pursue a new policy. We are not facing an isolated assassination. To Washington, this is not just another passing incident, after which an agreement with Iran would follow – not at all. This is not how the Americans see it. For them, it’s only the beginning. It’s the start of a new phase of U.S. aggression in the region. We are not the ones who are going to attack them. On Thursday, January 2, they launched a new kind of war in the region.

This is why the current administration has thought about what it should do in order to reverse the equations, weaken and break the axis of resistance, undermine Iran, restore confidence in its allies and tools in the region, regain its prestige, gain internal credit for the presidential elections, impose its conditions in the region and achieve some success in its foreign policy. So, they looked for their next course of action.

It couldn’t be a war because it is a dangerous adventure. “Israel” is already caught up in the issue of the Gaza Strip, which it does not know how to resolve. A war against Lebanon is no easy task for “Israel”. I am not saying it’s impossible for them to launch it, but I am saying it’s very difficult and unlikely in the near future. Anyone who listened to the “Israeli” Chief of staff a few days ago understands what I’m saying. Trump knows that a war with Iran would be huge, dangerous and extremely adventurous. Therefore, they looked for what they could do short of starting a war, and which would not lead to one. What could the United States do to bring us to a new phase, new equations and different circumstances?

This is where we come to Qassem Soleimani. So, they came up with the idea of striking the heart of the axis of resistance. Who is the central element? They did a study on this, and we were following that closely. A few weeks ago, Hajj Qassem was with me, and I told him that. And Glory be to God, on Wednesday, the first day of the new year, he [Soleimani] visited me in Lebanon, for no particular reason. He just came to see me and greet me.

I told him it was a great for me to start the year meeting you, being in your company and having the pleasure of contemplating your noble face. But shortly before, I had told him that US media and publications were focusing on him. His picture was on the front pages and that he was presented in America as “the irreplaceable general”. This was media and political preparation for your assassination. Of course, Hajj Qassem laughed, and replied that he hoped so, asking me to pray for his martyrdom. When we used to talk about Kerman [the failed assassination], I used to say to him, “Praise be to God, He saved you”. But he replied that he had lost an opportunity [to be martyred]. This was his way of seeing things. The Americans, therefore, started preparing the ground for Hajj Qassem’s assassination. When they developed a study, they saw that in the axis of resistance and wherever they went, there was one recurring name: Qassem Soleimani.

When they looked at Palestine, Gaza and the Palestinian resistance factions, the support for the Palestinian resistance with weapons, training and technological capabilities and the support of the Palestinian cause through the media, conferences and relations and pushing everything we have in the region towards Palestine, they found Qassem Salmani. In Lebanon, there is the resistance, the liberation in 2000, the 2006 war, the growing strength of the resistance’s missile capabilities including precision missiles, they found Qassem Soleimani. They went to Syria where America and “Israel” were relying on the Takfiri terrorist. They found Qassem Soleimani alongside the Syrian army, the people and the leadership. They wanted to control Iraq and toy with the Iraqis through Daesh for decades. But they found Qassem Soleimani.

In Afghanistan, they found Qassem Soleimani. In every detail of the resistance, they found Qassem Soleimani. As for Iran, it goes without saying, what Qassem Soleimani means to Iran? “Israel” considers Qassem Soleimani the most dangerous man since its creation. They speak of Qassem Soleimani as the man who surrounded the “Israeli” entity with rockets throughout the whole region. “Israel” considers him an existential threat to its survival. It wouldn't dare to kill him. It could have killed him in Syria where his movements were public and his whereabouts in the frontline and Albukamal were known. However, it did not dare to kill him and turned to the Americans. 

Therefore, the central element, which represents the bond, attachment, strength, unity of destiny and objectives, which insufflated the same soul in all the countries, peoples and factions of the resistance, was embodied by Qassem Soleimani. So, they decided to kill this man, publicly, openly and brazenly because that was their objective. It wasn’t gratuitous or just a media hype. It was voluntary with psychological, political and military objectives. This blatant assassination and this immediate and direct claim of responsibility by the United States after the assassination of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis served a specific vision and purpose for the Americans. It foreshadowed what was to come. They, therefore, committed this crime, hoping it will weaken and discourage Iraq, weaken the strength of the resistance, shatter the strong bond that links the axis of resistance to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They hoped that Iran would be afraid, tremble and make concessions, and they hope for many more things.

We must state the objectives of the assassination because when we are going to talk about revenge, equal retribution and fair punishment, it should be understood that these are not two families or clans that are fighting. Not at all. Rather, there are two rival and conflicting projects: the project of American-“Israeli” hegemony over our region, without it being necessary to go into the details specific to each country (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Yemen , Gulf, etc.). There is a project of American-“Israeli” hegemony over our entire region, our holy places, oil and gas, water, our natural resource, etc. O brother, they even have ambitions regarding Syrian oil! They even want Lebanese oil, which has not even been extracted yet!

This is one project. The other project is that of the resistance, independence, sovereignty, liberation and freedom. It is a project whereby the riches of the people are for the people and the sanctities of the Ummah [nation] is for the Ummah. 

There are people that support the first project and others that support the second. And there are those who are lost. They are with neither until either one of the projects succeeds. Some do not even know where they are and where they have to be. But those who know what they want belong to either of these two projects. This situation was confirmed by the January 2 assassination.

Confronting the project and the objectives:

What was the objective of the assassination? What is our responsibility? This will be the last part of my speech. Confronting the project started with the crime committed. We start in Iran.  What was Trump hoping to achieve from this assassination? What is he telling the Iranians? He is saying that I publicly killed one of your top generals. O Iranians, I publicly killed the man you consider to be the link between your presence, influence and engagement with the region. Among the objectives was to intimidate and subjugate Iran, to force Iran to surrender and go to the negotiating table and for Iran not to respond to a crime of this magnitude. 

The response started in Iran from the first moment. The statement issued by His Eminence the Supreme Leader, Seyyed Khamenei, as well as the statements by the Iranian president, officials, leaders of the armed forces and religious references in Qom and other cities in Iran were clear. The Iranian people spontaneously took to the streets in all Iranian cities. Today the funeral procession in Ahwaz and in Mashhad and the funeral procession tomorrow. The world will witness the funeral procession in Tehran and in Kerman. Pompeo wrote that he was betting on the position of the Iranian people and how they would react to the martyrdom of Qassem Soleimani.

Today, I tell Pompeo, tomorrow do not listen to your advisers. Just sit in front of the television and see for yourself the message the Iranian people from Tehran and Karaman will send the way you received it today from Ahwaz and Mashhad. This is Iran, which announced through all its officials and today in the Iranian parliament that it will not submit, or back down or surrender. On the contrary, it will take offensive steps and will retaliate and take revenge. Hence, this is the first objective that has failed. It failed within 6 hours from the assassination. Within 24 hours, most of the most important objectives of the operation were foiled by His Eminence the Supreme Leader, the officials and the dear and great Iranian people. This is number one. 

Number two, Iraq. He was also betting that this operation will cause the Hashd al-Shaabi and the national resistance camp which calls for Iraq’s independence to weaken. So, if Iraq is in a state of internal turmoil, the Iraqi people will be intimidated. And this is what we saw in the media when it reported that so and so was killed or reporting about raids that are baseless. They fuelled an immense state of terror among Iraqi leaders and officials. But the Iraqi response began with the funeral procession of the martyrs. Let us highlight the following. One of the most important things that Americans have been keen on during the last few years and months is to open old wounds, invoke grudges and invent unfounded stories between the Iraqis and the Iranians. This included insults directed at Iran, burning the Iranian consulate, burned Iranian flags, and so on. 

The Iraqis united and took part in the funeral processions of the Iranian and Iraqi martyrs in Baghdad, Kadhimiyah, Karbala and Najaf. There is no need to explain. You all saw. This shows the loyalty of the Iraqi people, the political forces, the religious authority, the religious scholars, the resistance factions, state officials, the government, the prime minister and the Council of Representatives. There were also the positions and statements condemning this crime as well as an escalation in the demand for US forces to leave Iraq.

This popular movement that we saw from Thursday until today in Iraq is proof that this objective is starting to fail, God willing. It is backfiring. Today, all eyes are at the Iraqi parliament. The prime minister is prepared to submit a memo to withdraw from the Iraqi-American agreement. But this needs the parliament to be fortified. Most of the blocs today confirmed that they would vote. They wrote a draft law, definitely for us to expect. During the past few days and nights, America has mobilized all its demons in Iraq and around the world to pressure the Iraqis so that the Iraqi parliament does not issue a resolution of this kind. We hope that it will be achieved. We hope that this will be achieved. We have high hopes and pin our hopes on our brothers in the Iraqi parliament to achieve this matter and issue a law demanding the exit of American forces from Iraq.

In any case, here, too, the American goal must fall. If it does not fall in the parliament, I tell you and I know – I am not giving an order or making a decision. I am neither a leader nor a commander in the Iraqi arena – that the Iraqis and the Iraqi resistance factions as well as the honorable, husseini resistance fighters, the sons of Abi al-Fadl al-Abbas, will not leave an American soldier in Iraq.

O honorable, generous and dear Iraqi people, the least response to the assassination of Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi and their companions is to expel the American forces from Iraq and liberate it from the new occupation. Then, the Americans will realize that by killing Hajj Qassem, they lost Iraq instead of keeping it; by killing Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, they lost Iraq instead of keeping it. On Friday, I read what some senior American strategists wrote stating that "today, we lost Iraq".

This can only be achieved with the will of the Iraqi people, the mujahideen in Iraq and the honorable fighters in Iraq. Hajj Qassim was behind the resistance that liberated Iraq from the occupation between 2003 and 2011. Hajj Qassem was a decisive factor in the liberation of Iraq. Hajj Qassem, Abu Mahdi as well as their brothers who have been martyred or are still alive were a decisive factor in the liberation of Iraq from terrorism. His blood, the blood of Abu Mahdi and the blood of the martyrs should lead to a second liberation of Iraq from the American occupation. This is the least response to the assassination. This is Iraq.

In Syria, we must continue to be steadfast until we achieve the final victory. No one should be shaken, worried or afraid because this great leader was martyred. The death of great commanders is a natural thing in the history of wars, especially wars of this magnitude. Those who are left will continue until the objective is achieved.

In Yemen, the Yemenis must have the same courage, steadfastness, resilience and confidence that they were fighting with. 

As for us in the resistance movements, we have to do two things:

First, what was one of Trump’s goals? It was to scare us, to terrify us all. Now, the Americans have started talking about the next people on the list. They are trying to scare the resistance movements and their leaders throughout the region, so that they back off and no longer bear their responsibilities.

The first response of the resistance movements is as follows:

It’s been already said, but I will repeat it. Resistance leaders and movements will not lose sight of their objectives and central cause. They will not back down from their fundamental struggle [against ‘Israel’]. It will not weaken. It will not fear anything or be confused by anything. The resistance quickly assembled its ranks.

On the moral level, the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi and those brothers will bring additional motivation to the whole axis of resistance to achieve its objectives. We feel that we are on the threshold of a great strategic and historic victory at the level of the whole region. This assassination revealed to us the level of US anger, the extent of their failures, powerlessness and frustration that led them to carry out such a foolish act.

Hence, we are on the verge of a great victory. We should not feel defeated because of the death of one of our great commanders. On the contrary, we should honor his blood, carry his banner and his goals and move forward with deep-rooted determination, willpower and faith and a great longing to meet Allah similar to that of Qassem Soleimani’s.

To those who are threatening us with killing and death in the hope that we will weaken and back down, we remind them of history. And we tell them that we are the descendants of the man [Imam Hussein] who told his enemies, “Are you threatening me with death? Death is a habit to us, and our dignity derived from God is martyrdom.”

And the second responsibility of the resistance movements is to help each other and coordinate their actions and to continue their efforts to strengthen themselves and develop their capabilities because it seems that the region is heading towards a completely different direction and situation. At the level of the region, the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani must in no way lead to weakness or discouragement in the pursuit of the measures and programs he directed. Likewise, the martyrdom of Abu Mahdi in Iraq must not prevent the pursuit of measures aimed at developing the forces which defend Iraq, its dignity, its holy places and its choices, against all occupiers and all forms of terrorism.

And finally, the response which should be a just retribution. What does a just retribution mean? It means that the identity of those responsible for this crime is clear, and they must be duly punished. I will not speak according to the logic of revenge, etc.

The subject of Hajj Soleimani is very different. If, for example, the United States had struck a certain Iranian target, an Iranian installation or an institution, even an Iranian figure other than Hajj Qassem Soleimani, that is to say not responsible for the work of the axis of resistance, we could all consider that it is ‘only’ an aggression against Iran and that it is Iran’s business to retaliate. But Qassem Soleimani is not just an Iranian affair. Qassem Soleimani concerns the whole axis of resistance. Qassem Soleimani, concerns all the forces of the resistance. Qassem Soleimani concerns Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and any country in which there are noble resistance, supporters of the resistance and those who love the resistance. Qassem Souleimani concerns the whole Ummah. It is not just an Iranian affair. It is up to the Iranians to decide where, how and when they will strike back. It is their business, and it is up to them to make the decision they deem appropriate. But this does not absolve the axis of the resistance from the responsibility. I tell you today. I tell my brothers and sisters, to all our friends in the different parties and factions and to the countries of the axis of resistance, Iran will not ask you for anything. Iran will not ask you to do or not to do something.

As far as Iran is concerned, it will decide for itself what to do, and the will of the Iranian people, officials and commanders has been clearly expressed. But as far as the forces in the axis of resistance are concerned, it is up to them to decide how they will react and behave in the face of this event. And this is why if anyone from the forces of resistance across the region decides to exact just retribution, it will be their own decision, their own will and their own choice. They are not Iranian instruments or puppets. I tell you frankly. Iran will ask nothing of its friends, allies and those it has supported, defended and assisted for 40 years. Iran will ask absolutely nothing from anyone.

Iran is in mourning today because it lost one of its greatest men, one of its greatest generals, one of its greatest commanders and one of its greatest heroes and symbols. But Iran will not ask for anything.

As for us, you, the people, the friends, our brothers and beloved ones, how will we respond? Are we going to be content with condolences, press releases and funeral ceremonies? It is not an attack on Iran but on the entire axis of resistance. A new stage is being prepared by which the Americans and the “Israelis” will measure their achievement. This stage will target everyone and serves U.S. and “Israeli” objectives. 

We must all, throughout our region and our Ummah, work to exact just retribution. Therefore, what is just retribution? I will also be transparent because we have had such an experience, yet I do not want to go into details.

Some might argue – you can see this during meetings, on social media, in the newspapers and media outlets in Iran – that a just retribution must target someone that has the same importance and worth as Qassem Soleimani. Who exactly? The Chief of Staff of the American Army? The US Defense Secretary? Intermediate commanders? In reality, there is no figure whose value is comparable to that of Qassem Soleimani or Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. There is no one! Qassem Soleimani’s shoe is worth more than the Trump’s and all the American leadership. Qassem Soleimani’s shoe!

There is no equivalent to Qassem Soleimani or Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis for one to decide to exact revenge and retribution. No. A just retribution, frankly and clearly, should be aimed at the following: the American military presence in the region. [Ending] the American military presence in our region and [targeting] the US military bases, US military ships, and all the American officers and soldiers who are in our region, in our countries and on our lands. It’s the US military that killed these martyrs, and they will pay the price. This is the equation. 

When we say this, we do not mean the American people. I hope this is very clear. We do not mean the American people. We do not mean the American citizens. There are American tradesmen, journalists, engineers, doctors and companies across our region. they are not the ones who are meant to be harmed. They must not be harmed. 

More than that, I tell you that attacking American civilians and citizens, anywhere, serves Trump’s policy. This would serve Trump’s policy and makes the battle a fight against terrorism.

This is what I think is, and I take personal responsibility for my words. Some may say that I am exaggerating, but that is not at all the case. I consider the situation in its right proportions. These are its true proportions. If we allow the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi and their companions to go unpunished , then I assure you that this will only be the beginning, a dangerous beginning  against all the resistance movements, the leadership of the resistance movements, all the states and entities of the resistance, the axis of resistance, the Palestinian cause and the cause of Al-Quds (Jerusalem). After that, the region would be subjected to a large American and “Israeli” violations.

If we let it go unanswered, whatever we do next, all that is dearest to us in this world will be lost. Can I be clearer than that? Can we accept that our blood, our dignity, our countries, our choices and our people be spilled and squandered and that our holy places be given away to the Zionists?! We will never accept this. If some are willing to accept it, that’s their problem.

You could tell me that this is a point of dispute. Yes, it is a point of disagreement, a point of debate, and has been for a long time. It’s not new. It has been a point of dispute since 1982, at least the very least.

On the other hand, if the resistance forces and the people of the region are heading in this direction, I assure you that the Americans will leave our region. They will leave humiliated, defeated and terrified as they have done in the past. As they have done in the past. The self-sacrificing martyrs who expelled the Americans from our region in the past are still present, and in numbers much more than ever. The mujahedeen and resistance fighters who expelled US troops from our region in the past were very small in number, oppressed, afraid that men might despoil and kidnap them. But today, we are peoples, forces, factions and armies with massive capabilities.

If the peoples of our region worked towards achieving this goal, what will be the consequence of all this? When speaking with such frankness and clarity, there is no point in having megaphones or uttering void and tasteless threats. When the coffins of American soldiers and officers begin to be transported and when US officers and soldiers who came in vertically return to the United States horizontally, that is the time when Trump and his administration will realize that they have lost the region and will lose the elections.
Our will and our objective in the axis of resistance must be the following: the answer to the murder of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi is to expel American forces from our entire region!

If we achieve this goal, and it will be achieved, God willing, the liberation of al-Quds as well as the Palestinian people regaining all the holy places of Palestine will be a stone’s throw away. 

When the United States leaves our region, these Zionists will pack up and leave. We might not even have to fight a battle against “Israel”.

I will conclude by saying that ignorant Trump and the fools around him do not know what they have done. Those fools and ignorant people do not know what they have done. The coming days will reveal to them. I declare to them, in the words of the great Sayyeda Zainab, peace be upon her, “You do not realize the value of our blood that you have just shed. You do not realize the value of the blood you have just shed and the bodies you have just torn.” It is not just any blood. It is not just any body. It is a whole different story.

Today, this is the just retribution for Qassem Soleimani, for Imad Moghniyeh, for Abbas al-Mousawi, for Ragheb Harb, for Mostafa Bardeddine, for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and for all the martyrs of this nation.

We do not make this decision from a position of anger or enthusiasm of the moment, on the contrary. I wrote about Hajj Qassem that, I, personally, was jubilant about his martyrdom. I am very happy for him. He found peace. He was a man who spent his entire life in jihad and hard work. From his most tender youth, in his twenties, he was on the frontlines and on the battlefields. It was time for him to rest. It’s about time for him to rest. Thank God, God the Most High and Exalted has generously granted him this long life. He lived until he was over 61 years old. It is a great blessing from God the Most High. We are in no angry or scared. On the contrary, we affirm that this pure blood is an opportunity for the nation to put an end to hegemony, occupation and arrogance, even if the consequences would be serious because the victories will be decisive and final, God willing.

With this blood, as with all the martyrs among our great and beloved martyrs, we and you, O people of the resistance, O supporters of the resistance, O patient people, the sincere and the wise, O the noblest, the most worthy and the most generous of peoples, we will continue on our path, and the blood of the martyrs will not have been shed in vain. And we will be victorious in the end.

May the peace of God as well as His mercy and His blessings be upon you.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech at the memorial service of two martyred commanders Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

5-1-2020

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.
 
Esteemed scholars, brothers and sisters, peace and Allah's mercy and blessing be upon you all.

Allah Almighty in his glorious book says, {In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision. Rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them - that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. They receive good tidings of favor from Allah and bounty and [of the fact] that Allah does not allow the reward of believers to be lost. Allah Almighty has spoken the truth.}

Today we are holding a memorial service to honor a great international Islamic jihadi leader Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force and a great leader. We are also honoring Mujahid Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq as well as their Iranian and Iraqi companions who were martyred in the latest crime.

January 2, 2020 is a date that separates two stages in the region. It is the beginning of a new phase, a new history, not just for Iran or Iraq, but for the whole region. I will talk about this later.

But first, allow me to talk a little bit about this incident, crime and assassination on a personal level.

On Thursday evening – now, I will keep saying Thursday evening – on January 2, 2020, Hajj Qassim Soleimani, the beloved and dear brother, fulfilled his hopes and aspirations. He achieved his goal. Don’t we always talk about achieving goals? Or whether this action will achieve our goals or the goals of the enemy? Hajj Qassem Soleimani achieved his goal on Friday. 

When remembering the martyrs, I always describe the martyrdom of the Mujahideen and the leaders as a personal project. They do not want martyrdom for the Ummah. They want good and prosperous life for the Ummah. They want happiness for the Ummah in this life and pride and dignity in the Hereafter. They want strength for the Ummah and life under God’s grace. However, on a personal level, their project is martyrdom.

This was his intention since he was young and joined the battle on Iran’s frontlines. This wish, this goal and this objective remained with him. There are two types of people who walk on this path. There are those who make it only quarter of the way or halfway before the flame of this goal subsides. The desire for it withers. The longing dies. On the other hand, there are people who desire it more with the passage of time. The desire becomes stronger and ever-present.

Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were of the second type, especially in the past few years. When a person grows old and sees his gray hair and beard, he gets scared of dying from illness or in bed. Hajj Qassem was always on the frontlines, under shelling, and his body was full of shrapnel. In the past few years, when Hajj Qassem came to Syria, the brothers [in the Islamic Resistance] managed his security and protection. They stayed with him night and day until he would return to Damascus airport. He spent many nights crying. When the martyrs were brought up, he would cry. In many of the meetings, he used to tell me ‘I am fed up with this world as I am so eager to meet Allah and the martyrs who have passed.’ 

Most of his brothers, friends and the loved ones he lived with, fought with and suffered with were gone. He was really eager to follow them. 

In any case, he fulfilled this wish. And this consoles us all – his loved ones, his friends and brothers.
 
From here, from Dahiyeh [the southern suburb of Beirut], I tell the family of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, all his relatives and family members, especially to his virtuous wife, his sons and daughters: 

What should console you is that your father fulfilled his greatest wish. I know that you know better than me that this has always been Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s goal, hope, aspiration and longing.

The same goes for Hajj Abu Mahdi. Two or three months ago, he visited me here in Dahiyeh where we sat for hours. At the end of the meeting, he told me: O Sayyed, the battle with Daesh in Iraq seems to be drawing to a close. Many have been martyred, and I am still alive. I am growing old. My hair and beard are turning gray. Pray to God that my end is through martyrdom. Also, I tell Hajj Abu Mahdi’s virtuous wife and daughters: This should be a consoling factor to all of you. This is the case with all the beloved martyrs who were martyred with Hajj Qassim and Hajj Abu Mahdi.

This is on a personal level. Let us end this part and move directly to the topic at hand. Today, these hopes were fulfilled. In our faith, martyrdom is among two of the most important things. Either victory or martyrdom. One of the wonders of our faith is how the equations change. The most our enemy can do is kill us. And the most we can aspire to is to be killed in the cause of Allah Almighty. The equation in our faith converts the enemy's maximum strength into our maximum strength. Hence, we cannot be defeated. When we achieve victory, we are victorious. When we are martyred, we are victorious. Thursday night was also a day of victory for the resistance, the axis of resistance and the men of the resistance. It will be a new model for the victory of blood against the sword, God willing.

Congratulations to Hajj Qassem, to Hajj Abu Mahdi and their honorable Iranian and Iraqi mujahideen companions for attaining this great martyrdom, this good outcome, and this beautiful conclusion. In the school of al-Husain and Zainab (Peace Be Upon Them), we yearn for martyrdom, and we only see beauty in things.

Second, we get to the heart of the matter. Today, I will speak candidly about this major and decisive event and what exactly happened? Why did it happen? Why were Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi targeted? What are the objectives? Where is the region headed? And finally, what is our stance, what is our duty, what is our responsibility? Because I said that we are now at a completely new stage [of the confrontation against the United States].

Of course, the following will not be the topic of my speech. But if I wanted to talk about the personality of Hajj Qassem, his qualities, his traits, his piety, his courage, his aptitudes, his knowledge, his strategic thinking, his humility and all these beautiful qualities that he possessed, if I wanted to talk about his successes, his efforts, his jihad, his sacrifices, and the same for Hajj Abu Mahdi, I would have to speak for hours, days and weeks. But we will talk about this another time, God willing. What I have to touch on is the heart of the matter, in order to base our reaction on the facts. 

Firstly, what happened? On Thursday night, January 2 – I will take two minutes to clarify all this in detail, because this will be the basis of my entire speech – Hajj Qassem and his comrades publicly left Damascus Airport for Baghdad Airport. At Baghdad airport, Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, accompanied by his brothers from the leadership of the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Shaabi), were waiting to greet him. After they got into the cars and drove a certain distance, the whole convoy was struck by sophisticated missiles from the sky. They were fired from American planes, in a barbaric manner. You all saw the images. The destruction of the cars and the dislocation of everything inside them were guaranteed by the barbarity of the strike. Our two dear commanders with all those who accompanied them were martyred. All of them turned into torn and burnt shreds that were very difficult to identify.

Let me say that Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi and the brothers who accompanied them looked forward to martyrdom. I know that Soleimani ardently desired martyrdom. But perhaps what happened to him exceeded his expectations. He ended up headless like Imam Hussein and without hands like al-Abbas. His body was completely torn to pieces like Ali al-Akbar. I don’t know if that is what Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi had in mind.

In any case, they all became shredded and burnt parts that were very difficult to identify. After a few hours, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a statement in which it claimed responsibility for the operation, stating that the assassination was carried out on the orders of President Trump. That was followed by press releases and conferences taking credit for the operation by the U.S. secretary of state, the defense secretary, the national security advisor, up to Trump himself in his various Tweets, in which he boasts of having personally ordered the assassination of Hajj Soleimani. He even gives reasons that led him to do so, which are all lies.

So, we are faced with a public and perfectly clear crime. The one who ordered it admits to having done so himself: Trump. The perpetrator of the assassination makes his guilt clear. It’s the U.S. defense secretary, the U.S. military, and American forces operating in the region, whether inside or outside Iraq is merely a detail.

Consequently, we are not facing a vague assassination operation, such as a car bomb, a suicide attack, an ambush by unknown perpetrators, which would require a commission of inquiry to identify the culprits, with assumptions and uncertainties, etc. Not at all. We are faced with an extremely clear and blatant crime, for which the U.S. claims responsibility. These are the two lines on which we must base our response: U.S. President Trump ordered the U.S. military to commit this crime, and U.S. military forces did it in the manner I mentioned. Things are therefore very clear.

Secondly, why was this crime committed so openly and so publicly? Everything was done openly. It was claimed formally and publicly. Trump boasting about it in front of the whole world, so as to leave no doubt. There are two reasons for this.

The first is the failure of all previous assassination attempts ‘without fingerprints’, without leaving traces or evidence. Several attempts have been made. Some attempts to assassinate Hajj Qassem have been made public, others remain secret to this day. In the last attempt you saw the satanic and infernal mind of the Americans and the “Israelis” through what they prepared to liquidate Hajj Qassem in Kerman. The group preparing the assassination was arrested after bringing the explosives there. They planned to buy a house near a Husseiniya and to dig a tunnel from that house to reach the basement of the Husseiniya. Then they wanted to place an enormous quantity of explosives there. Hajj Qassem used to go to this Husseiniya every year to mark mourning ceremonies. Between 4,000 to 5,000 people usually attend these ceremonies. They wanted to kill 5,000 people in the Husseiniya to make sure they killed Hajj Qassem Soleimani. Look at this criminal mentality. God Almighty protected him and postponed his martyrdom. He chose for him this type of martyrdom, as His Eminence the Supreme Leader said, because he deserves this type of martyrdom, this level of martyrdom. Thus, the failure of all previously secret assassination attempts prompted them to resort to public action and to act openly.

The second point, which explains this action in this precise context and in this public way, is the set of circumstances in our region, the failures and successes, the stage of the struggle we have reached and the recent developments in Iraq. Moreover, all this comes ahead of the U.S. presidential elections. This is what I will discuss in detail.

It is by presenting this whole situation in detail that we can all understand it and determine what everyone’s responsibilities are to thwart the objectives of the assassination. This presentation will serve as a basis for facts and not just for the sake of analyzing and presenting. 

The details of this point are as follows. Three years after Trump assumed office, he announced a foreign policy in our region and in the world. When Trump and his administration look at the outcome of the past three years, what would they see? Failure after failure, topped with inability and confusion. There is nothing he can offer the American people at the level of foreign policy, especially in our region, and he is heading to the presidential elections.

If we look at a set of headlines, Iran is at the top: From the first day, Trump set a higher objective, which was to topple the Islamic regime in Iran. This is what John Bolton promised precisely a year ago New Year’s celebrations with Iranian hypocrites in France. He made a speech and promised them that the next year’s celebration would be held in Tehran. So, John Bolton is gone, and the Islamic regime is still in Tehran. This was not John Bolton's policy; he was the national security adviser who was expressing Trump's strategy on Iran. Hence, the higher objective was to topple the Islamic Republic’s regime. At the very least, his objective sought to get Iran to change its behavior. He wanted to subdue Iran, to discipline it, to control Iran's political actions and so on. He wanted to reach a new nuclear deal, an agreement regarding ballistic missiles and an agreement on regional issues.

Iran did not comply. It withdrew from the nuclear agreement. Sanctions on an unparalleled scale in 40 years were imposed on Iran and anyone in the world dealing with Iran. There was an attempt to blockade the country, isolate it and intimidate it. There was a wager on people starving, on a domestic economic crisis and internal divisions – if there were any to begin with. There was a push towards internal strife and an effort to take advantage of all available regional tools. However, all this failed.
So, Trump is heading towards elections. He cannot tell the American people that I overthrew the Islamic Republic regime. He cannot say that I subjugated the regime in the Islamic Republic. He cannot say that I imposed a new nuclear deal on Iran. Even worse, Trump has reached a point where he is asking some European presidents at the United Nations session in New York to mediate [between the US and Iran] so that he can meet with the President of the Islamic Republic, Sheikh Rouhani. And Iran is refusing to meet with Trump.

All of Trump’s policies are intended to bring Iran to the negotiating table, regardless of the [nuclear] deal, under pressure and threats. He said that the Iranians will call him and will eventually come to him. Now, his term is almost coming to an end, and Iran has not come to him nor did anyone call him.

What will he tell the American public regarding this objective? That he failed, and Iran is growing bolder. 

I will talk about Iraq last because of its relation to what happened to Hajj Qassim and Abu Mahdi.

The second headline is Syria. There is clear failure and confusion in Syria. Their project failed in Syria. The last straw was his betrayal of allies or friends – call them what you want – the Qasd militias, the Kurdish fighting groups east of the Euphrates. There was a lot of confusion. At one instance, he makes a decision to pull troops out of the eastern banks of the Euphrates. At another instance, he wants to leave some forces. He made an endless problem regarding the withdrawal of US troops. He ended up leaving a part of the American forces to protect who? They are not there to protect their Kurdish allies but to protect the Syrian oil wells and oil fields – to loot them. He proclaimed this. He said he would talk to oil exploration and export companies to put their hands on the wells and confiscate them. This reflects the American confusion in Syria. He left part of the force east of the Euphrates for oil and a small part in al-Tanf. He said that upon “Israel’s” request and recommendation, he left an American force in al-Tanf because should al-Tanf fall into the hands of the Syrian army, the entire Syrian-Iraqi border and especially the international Rutba crossing would open.

Third, he also failed in Lebanon. All the pressure, all the sanctions, all the incitement and all the money that was spent in Lebanon to tarnish the image of the resistance, to incite the environment of resistance against it and to incite the rest of the Lebanese people against the resistance failed. We all remember the recent invasion by Pompeo of Lebanon and the written war statement he pronounced at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We also remember [David] Satterfield’s various visits that were not reported by the media. But today, I will say it in the media. I said this during a closed session and it was leaked. During Satterfield's last visit, he threatened Lebanese officials. He gave them a 15-day deadline to remove installations belonging to the resistance in the Bekaa. ‘If Hezbollah does not remove them, “Israel” will bomb and destroy these installations. We will impose sanctions on Lebanon in the sanctions, etc.’ He made threats and tried to intimidate. Of course, it was all in vain. “Israel” did not dare attack those installations within 15 days because we told him that if “Israel” bombed these facilities, we would launch a prompt, appropriate and proportionate response. If you remember on the eve of al-Quds Day, I touched on this topic. Therefore, all attempts to curb the resistance in Lebanon, to put pressure on the resistance in Lebanon and take absolute control of Lebanon’s autonomy failed.

In Yemen, due to the steadfastness of the Yemeni people, he was unable to achieve any military gains. The war in Yemen is primarily an American war, an American decision, an American will and an American project. Aside from the massacres and the siege committed by the Saudis, it is not only a Saudi war. 

The fifth is Afghanistan. There he is looking for a way out that would allow him to save face. They are also in a state of confusion there. He sends his ambassador Khalilzad to negotiate with the Taliban in Qatar. They agree, and the Taliban were supposed to meet Trump in the Black House. Trump cancels the meeting the next day. He also cancels the agreement and says the Taliban withdrew from the negotiations. A few days later, he calls for negotiations with the Taliban because he wants to get out of the Afghan predicament. Hence, he has not achieved anything in Afghanistan. 

The sixth is the Deal of the Century. He wanted to realize the Deal of the Century during his first year in office and impose it on the Arab regimes and people and, first and foremost, on the Palestinian people. Where is the Deal of the Century? Who is talking about the Deal of the Century now? This is thanks to the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and leaders. Despite the war on Gaza, the blockade, the sanctions, the hardship the people of the West Bank and the Palestinians are being subjected to inside and outside including economic and livelihood difficulties, threats against the UNRWA, the suffering of the detainees, he [Trump]could not impose the Deal of the Century.

The seventh headline is Iraq which is the bottom line. When I come to my last analysis, I say that he was the one that sped up this move, this crime. What is Trump’s real project in Iraq? We do not need to have secret sources in the CIA and the Pentagon to expose information about his project. No, the man was very clear. Trump was very clear and very transparent because he is arrogant and patronizing. He doesn’t acknowledge anyone standing before him. And he does not acknowledge countries, international law, international institutions, the international community or anything else. During his electoral campaign, what was Trump saying? He said Iraqi oil is our right – America’s right. He covets over some modest oil fields in Syria. There are some modest oil fields east of the Euphrates. Syria’s oil reserves are not comparable to Iraq’s. During his electoral campaign and interviews, he said that Iraq’s oil is our right. We have to put our hands on Iraqi oil until we collect all the money we spent during all these past years in Iraq and in the region. When asked, how will you achieve this, and there is a state in Iraq? I hope you pay attention to this sentence, especially our brothers in Iraq if they are listening to me. He said there is no state in Iraq. There is no state in Iraq. There is nothing called Iraq. Go back to the transcripts and his voice recordings. How will you take over the oil field? We deploy forces stationed around Iraqi oilfields, and we take large areas around it. Then, we establish security belts we control. Then, we extract oil, export it and sell it to the world.

Hence, what has been Trump’s real project in Iraq over the last three years? To seize control of Iraqi oil wells and oil wealth. He does not want a state in Iraq that will prevent him from doing so. Or if there is a state, it must be subject to the U.S. decisions, to the American ambassador and the U.S. army. It must submit to the Americans politically, militarily and in terms of security. But Daesh is the product of the Americans. Trump himself said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the ones who created Daesh. The Americans wanted Daesh to thrive and for the war against it to drag on so that they have an excuse to stay in Iraq. They said the war against Daesh needs 10, 20 or 30 years. Under the pretext of the war against Daesh, U.S. bases around the oil regions will be re-established. Then the U.S. would deplete Iraq’s riches. It will sell weapons to the Iraqis and interfere in their autonomous decisions and weaken the Iraqi state. This is why they had a problem with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and the young men. I will talk about this is a little bit. 

So, this is his real project for Iraq. His project failed. How did it fail? First, with the defeat of Daesh by the Iraqi people, the Iraqi leadership and presiding over them the honorable religious authority in the holy city of Najaf. The Iraqi position was decisive in ending the battle with Daesh as soon as possible. Qassem Soleimani was a key factor in this decision. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was a key factor in this decision. The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the Iraqi resistance factions alongside the Iraqi army and the various security forces, with the support of the Iraqi people as well as the absolute backing and support of the religious authority were able to resolve this battle in a few years.

The Americans had no more excuses to stay in Iraq. After Daesh was defeated and the American role was exposed, calls for U.S. forces to leave Iraq got louder. You said you came to help us defeat Daesh. Now that Daesh has been eliminated, be on your way out. But they don’t want to leave. They want to stay. They used Daesh as a pretext for their military comeback to Iraq and to fulfill their objectives in Iraq. Following Deash’s defeat, Iraq held parliamentary elections. Who won the elections? I do not want to talk about a specific bloc or party. But rather I want to talk about a political direction. The general political direction that won the Iraqi elections is the one that does not submit to the Americans or heed to their orders. On the contrary, it fully thinks or to a great extent thinks about the national interest of the country. The Americans like to call that the Iranian line. This is an inaccurate description.

But the accurate way to describe them is to say that the parliamentary majority in the Council of Representatives includes blocs, parties and national figures that refuse to submit to the American will and American dictates. In light of this majority, a government was formed, a government that bothered the Americans. I do not want to go into details. Rather, I would like to present the relation of this aspect to the Americans. This government headed by Mr. Adel Abdul Mahdi bothered the US policies because it first of all refused to make Iraq part of the campaign against Iran and implement sanctions against it. This means that they stood in the face of America. Second, the Iraqi government headed by Mr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi refused to support the Deal of the Century and contribute to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. Third, the government of Mr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi went to China to sign contracts worth hundreds of billions of dollars to build Iraq and for the prosperity of Iraq without paying money in exchange for projects. The US wanted projects in Iraq for its companies so that it can plunder Iraq through its companies and projects. The government of Mr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi also refused to keep the borders with Syria closed. It insisted on opening the Albukamal crossing. All this political performance infuriated the Americans very much. In addition, a voice in the Council of Representatives was demanding the exit of the American forces. Also, there were certain tensions on the field. So, the Americans have recently felt, as they said, that they are almost losing Iraq! 

The invaded Iraq not to spread democracy, not for the elections and not for the independence of the Iraqi people and their prosperity. They invaded Iraq and overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime to control Iraq and seize its riches. When they found that the Iraqi people wanted stability and to be free, they unleashed on them all their terrorist groups which they created. They brought them from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and all countries of the world. From 2003 until 2011, the people of Iraq faced a wave of suicide operations. Thousands of suicide bombers blew themselves up in mosques, churches, schools, markets and religious sites, killing some of the finest Iraqi leaders and figures. The American occupation officers were the ones facilitating the the movement of these terrorist organizations. 

The Americans recently tried to sow sedition between the Iraqi people. They tried to push the Iraqis into civil war. But the conscious and wise stance of the religious authority and the Iraqi leaderships prevented this. The firm and strong stance of the Iraqi tribes and resistance factions prevented this.

Through their electronic armies and their malicious tools, the Americans sought to cause discord between the Iraqi people and the Iranian people. Why? Because Iran was the best supporter of the Iraqi people. In recent weeks, the Americans have been panicking. They felt that Iraq was slipping from their grip. So, Trump also failed in Iraq. 
All this has taken place before January 2, 2020, before the killing of Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi. Hence, with this failure and inability in the region, what will Trump and the U.S. administration do ahead of the presidential elections?

Yes, let us be realistic as well. There are accomplishments that Trump talks about. I personally follow his speeches. Look at the Arabic translations of his speeches. He is moving from state to state and making addresses. What has he accomplished in foreign policy? Isn't he supposed to present them to the American people since it is election year? What is he telling them regarding his accomplishments in our region and in the world?

In Venezuela, the project to topple the president and the Venezuelan regime failed. In Cuba, he was not able to do anything. He threatened, terrorized, and sent aircraft carriers to North Korea and almost went to war. Then he went to negotiations and deceived the American people that he would disarm North Korea. But there was nothing. 

When it comes to China, Russia and even with his allies and friends, what did he achieve? He even insults his allies and friends, humiliates them on a daily basis, underestimates them, lets them down and abandons them. This is the foreign policy. Yes, regarding the U.S. foreign policy, Trump speaks about three things in his speeches. Unfortunately, all of them are from our region. what does he tell them? Nothing. He does not have a foreign policy. In every speech, he tells them about the 400 billion he took from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He talks about it in a way that ridicules and insults Saudi Arabia. And everyone starts laughing and applauding. This is the first achievement.

The second achievement is the arms sales to Arab countries worth tens of billions of dollars. He tells the American people about the 400 billion dollars and tens of billions of dollars in arms deals. He tells them he secured hundreds of thousands of jobs, and they applaud him.

The third achievement is the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds (Jerusalem). These are his three achievements; the plunder of Arab and Muslim money and the attack on the city of al-Quds and the sanctities of the Arabs, the Muslims and the Christians. These are his accomplishments. Apart from these, what did he achieve? Let someone show me his other foreign policy achievements.

Faced with all these failures and Iraq posing a direct challenge to the U.S., Trump therefore decided to pursue a new policy. We are not facing an isolated assassination. To Washington, this is not just another passing incident, after which an agreement with Iran would follow – not at all. This is not how the Americans see it. For them, it’s only the beginning. It’s the start of a new phase of U.S. aggression in the region. We are not the ones who are going to attack them. On Thursday, January 2, they launched a new kind of war in the region.

This is why the current administration has thought about what it should do in order to reverse the equations, weaken and break the axis of resistance, undermine Iran, restore confidence in its allies and tools in the region, regain its prestige, gain internal credit for the presidential elections, impose its conditions in the region and achieve some success in its foreign policy. So, they looked for their next course of action.

It couldn’t be a war because it is a dangerous adventure. “Israel” is already caught up in the issue of the Gaza Strip, which it does not know how to resolve. A war against Lebanon is no easy task for “Israel”. I am not saying it’s impossible for them to launch it, but I am saying it’s very difficult and unlikely in the near future. Anyone who listened to the “Israeli” Chief of staff a few days ago understands what I’m saying. Trump knows that a war with Iran would be huge, dangerous and extremely adventurous. Therefore, they looked for what they could do short of starting a war, and which would not lead to one. What could the United States do to bring us to a new phase, new equations and different circumstances?

This is where we come to Qassem Soleimani. So, they came up with the idea of striking the heart of the axis of resistance. Who is the central element? They did a study on this, and we were following that closely. A few weeks ago, Hajj Qassem was with me, and I told him that. And Glory be to God, on Wednesday, the first day of the new year, he [Soleimani] visited me in Lebanon, for no particular reason. He just came to see me and greet me.

I told him it was a great for me to start the year meeting you, being in your company and having the pleasure of contemplating your noble face. But shortly before, I had told him that US media and publications were focusing on him. His picture was on the front pages and that he was presented in America as “the irreplaceable general”. This was media and political preparation for your assassination. Of course, Hajj Qassem laughed, and replied that he hoped so, asking me to pray for his martyrdom. When we used to talk about Kerman [the failed assassination], I used to say to him, “Praise be to God, He saved you”. But he replied that he had lost an opportunity [to be martyred]. This was his way of seeing things. The Americans, therefore, started preparing the ground for Hajj Qassem’s assassination. When they developed a study, they saw that in the axis of resistance and wherever they went, there was one recurring name: Qassem Soleimani.

When they looked at Palestine, Gaza and the Palestinian resistance factions, the support for the Palestinian resistance with weapons, training and technological capabilities and the support of the Palestinian cause through the media, conferences and relations and pushing everything we have in the region towards Palestine, they found Qassem Salmani. In Lebanon, there is the resistance, the liberation in 2000, the 2006 war, the growing strength of the resistance’s missile capabilities including precision missiles, they found Qassem Soleimani. They went to Syria where America and “Israel” were relying on the Takfiri terrorist. They found Qassem Soleimani alongside the Syrian army, the people and the leadership. They wanted to control Iraq and toy with the Iraqis through Daesh for decades. But they found Qassem Soleimani.

In Afghanistan, they found Qassem Soleimani. In every detail of the resistance, they found Qassem Soleimani. As for Iran, it goes without saying, what Qassem Soleimani means to Iran? “Israel” considers Qassem Soleimani the most dangerous man since its creation. They speak of Qassem Soleimani as the man who surrounded the “Israeli” entity with rockets throughout the whole region. “Israel” considers him an existential threat to its survival. It wouldn't dare to kill him. It could have killed him in Syria where his movements were public and his whereabouts in the frontline and Albukamal were known. However, it did not dare to kill him and turned to the Americans. 

Therefore, the central element, which represents the bond, attachment, strength, unity of destiny and objectives, which insufflated the same soul in all the countries, peoples and factions of the resistance, was embodied by Qassem Soleimani. So, they decided to kill this man, publicly, openly and brazenly because that was their objective. It wasn’t gratuitous or just a media hype. It was voluntary with psychological, political and military objectives. This blatant assassination and this immediate and direct claim of responsibility by the United States after the assassination of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis served a specific vision and purpose for the Americans. It foreshadowed what was to come. They, therefore, committed this crime, hoping it will weaken and discourage Iraq, weaken the strength of the resistance, shatter the strong bond that links the axis of resistance to the Islamic Republic of Iran. They hoped that Iran would be afraid, tremble and make concessions, and they hope for many more things.

We must state the objectives of the assassination because when we are going to talk about revenge, equal retribution and fair punishment, it should be understood that these are not two families or clans that are fighting. Not at all. Rather, there are two rival and conflicting projects: the project of American-“Israeli” hegemony over our region, without it being necessary to go into the details specific to each country (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Yemen , Gulf, etc.). There is a project of American-“Israeli” hegemony over our entire region, our holy places, oil and gas, water, our natural resource, etc. O brother, they even have ambitions regarding Syrian oil! They even want Lebanese oil, which has not even been extracted yet!

This is one project. The other project is that of the resistance, independence, sovereignty, liberation and freedom. It is a project whereby the riches of the people are for the people and the sanctities of the Ummah [nation] is for the Ummah. 

There are people that support the first project and others that support the second. And there are those who are lost. They are with neither until either one of the projects succeeds. Some do not even know where they are and where they have to be. But those who know what they want belong to either of these two projects. This situation was confirmed by the January 2 assassination.

Confronting the project and the objectives:

What was the objective of the assassination? What is our responsibility? This will be the last part of my speech. Confronting the project started with the crime committed. We start in Iran.  What was Trump hoping to achieve from this assassination? What is he telling the Iranians? He is saying that I publicly killed one of your top generals. O Iranians, I publicly killed the man you consider to be the link between your presence, influence and engagement with the region. Among the objectives was to intimidate and subjugate Iran, to force Iran to surrender and go to the negotiating table and for Iran not to respond to a crime of this magnitude. 

The response started in Iran from the first moment. The statement issued by His Eminence the Supreme Leader, Seyyed Khamenei, as well as the statements by the Iranian president, officials, leaders of the armed forces and religious references in Qom and other cities in Iran were clear. The Iranian people spontaneously took to the streets in all Iranian cities. Today the funeral procession in Ahwaz and in Mashhad and the funeral procession tomorrow. The world will witness the funeral procession in Tehran and in Kerman. Pompeo wrote that he was betting on the position of the Iranian people and how they would react to the martyrdom of Qassem Soleimani.

Today, I tell Pompeo, tomorrow do not listen to your advisers. Just sit in front of the television and see for yourself the message the Iranian people from Tehran and Karaman will send the way you received it today from Ahwaz and Mashhad. This is Iran, which announced through all its officials and today in the Iranian parliament that it will not submit, or back down or surrender. On the contrary, it will take offensive steps and will retaliate and take revenge. Hence, this is the first objective that has failed. It failed within 6 hours from the assassination. Within 24 hours, most of the most important objectives of the operation were foiled by His Eminence the Supreme Leader, the officials and the dear and great Iranian people. This is number one. 

Number two, Iraq. He was also betting that this operation will cause the Hashd al-Shaabi and the national resistance camp which calls for Iraq’s independence to weaken. So, if Iraq is in a state of internal turmoil, the Iraqi people will be intimidated. And this is what we saw in the media when it reported that so and so was killed or reporting about raids that are baseless. They fuelled an immense state of terror among Iraqi leaders and officials. But the Iraqi response began with the funeral procession of the martyrs. Let us highlight the following. One of the most important things that Americans have been keen on during the last few years and months is to open old wounds, invoke grudges and invent unfounded stories between the Iraqis and the Iranians. This included insults directed at Iran, burning the Iranian consulate, burned Iranian flags, and so on. 

The Iraqis united and took part in the funeral processions of the Iranian and Iraqi martyrs in Baghdad, Kadhimiyah, Karbala and Najaf. There is no need to explain. You all saw. This shows the loyalty of the Iraqi people, the political forces, the religious authority, the religious scholars, the resistance factions, state officials, the government, the prime minister and the Council of Representatives. There were also the positions and statements condemning this crime as well as an escalation in the demand for US forces to leave Iraq.

This popular movement that we saw from Thursday until today in Iraq is proof that this objective is starting to fail, God willing. It is backfiring. Today, all eyes are at the Iraqi parliament. The prime minister is prepared to submit a memo to withdraw from the Iraqi-American agreement. But this needs the parliament to be fortified. Most of the blocs today confirmed that they would vote. They wrote a draft law, definitely for us to expect. During the past few days and nights, America has mobilized all its demons in Iraq and around the world to pressure the Iraqis so that the Iraqi parliament does not issue a resolution of this kind. We hope that it will be achieved. We hope that this will be achieved. We have high hopes and pin our hopes on our brothers in the Iraqi parliament to achieve this matter and issue a law demanding the exit of American forces from Iraq.

In any case, here, too, the American goal must fall. If it does not fall in the parliament, I tell you and I know – I am not giving an order or making a decision. I am neither a leader nor a commander in the Iraqi arena – that the Iraqis and the Iraqi resistance factions as well as the honorable, husseini resistance fighters, the sons of Abi al-Fadl al-Abbas, will not leave an American soldier in Iraq.

O honorable, generous and dear Iraqi people, the least response to the assassination of Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi and their companions is to expel the American forces from Iraq and liberate it from the new occupation. Then, the Americans will realize that by killing Hajj Qassem, they lost Iraq instead of keeping it; by killing Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, they lost Iraq instead of keeping it. On Friday, I read what some senior American strategists wrote stating that "today, we lost Iraq".

This can only be achieved with the will of the Iraqi people, the mujahideen in Iraq and the honorable fighters in Iraq. Hajj Qassim was behind the resistance that liberated Iraq from the occupation between 2003 and 2011. Hajj Qassem was a decisive factor in the liberation of Iraq. Hajj Qassem, Abu Mahdi as well as their brothers who have been martyred or are still alive were a decisive factor in the liberation of Iraq from terrorism. His blood, the blood of Abu Mahdi and the blood of the martyrs should lead to a second liberation of Iraq from the American occupation. This is the least response to the assassination. This is Iraq.

In Syria, we must continue to be steadfast until we achieve the final victory. No one should be shaken, worried or afraid because this great leader was martyred. The death of great commanders is a natural thing in the history of wars, especially wars of this magnitude. Those who are left will continue until the objective is achieved.

In Yemen, the Yemenis must have the same courage, steadfastness, resilience and confidence that they were fighting with. 

As for us in the resistance movements, we have to do two things:

First, what was one of Trump’s goals? It was to scare us, to terrify us all. Now, the Americans have started talking about the next people on the list. They are trying to scare the resistance movements and their leaders throughout the region, so that they back off and no longer bear their responsibilities.

The first response of the resistance movements is as follows:

It’s been already said, but I will repeat it. Resistance leaders and movements will not lose sight of their objectives and central cause. They will not back down from their fundamental struggle [against ‘Israel’]. It will not weaken. It will not fear anything or be confused by anything. The resistance quickly assembled its ranks.

On the moral level, the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi and those brothers will bring additional motivation to the whole axis of resistance to achieve its objectives. We feel that we are on the threshold of a great strategic and historic victory at the level of the whole region. This assassination revealed to us the level of US anger, the extent of their failures, powerlessness and frustration that led them to carry out such a foolish act.

Hence, we are on the verge of a great victory. We should not feel defeated because of the death of one of our great commanders. On the contrary, we should honor his blood, carry his banner and his goals and move forward with deep-rooted determination, willpower and faith and a great longing to meet Allah similar to that of Qassem Soleimani’s.

To those who are threatening us with killing and death in the hope that we will weaken and back down, we remind them of history. And we tell them that we are the descendants of the man [Imam Hussein] who told his enemies, “Are you threatening me with death? Death is a habit to us, and our dignity derived from God is martyrdom.”

And the second responsibility of the resistance movements is to help each other and coordinate their actions and to continue their efforts to strengthen themselves and develop their capabilities because it seems that the region is heading towards a completely different direction and situation. At the level of the region, the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani must in no way lead to weakness or discouragement in the pursuit of the measures and programs he directed. Likewise, the martyrdom of Abu Mahdi in Iraq must not prevent the pursuit of measures aimed at developing the forces which defend Iraq, its dignity, its holy places and its choices, against all occupiers and all forms of terrorism.

And finally, the response which should be a just retribution. What does a just retribution mean? It means that the identity of those responsible for this crime is clear, and they must be duly punished. I will not speak according to the logic of revenge, etc.

The subject of Hajj Soleimani is very different. If, for example, the United States had struck a certain Iranian target, an Iranian installation or an institution, even an Iranian figure other than Hajj Qassem Soleimani, that is to say not responsible for the work of the axis of resistance, we could all consider that it is ‘only’ an aggression against Iran and that it is Iran’s business to retaliate. But Qassem Soleimani is not just an Iranian affair. Qassem Soleimani concerns the whole axis of resistance. Qassem Soleimani, concerns all the forces of the resistance. Qassem Soleimani concerns Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and any country in which there are noble resistance, supporters of the resistance and those who love the resistance. Qassem Souleimani concerns the whole Ummah. It is not just an Iranian affair. It is up to the Iranians to decide where, how and when they will strike back. It is their business, and it is up to them to make the decision they deem appropriate. But this does not absolve the axis of the resistance from the responsibility. I tell you today. I tell my brothers and sisters, to all our friends in the different parties and factions and to the countries of the axis of resistance, Iran will not ask you for anything. Iran will not ask you to do or not to do something.

As far as Iran is concerned, it will decide for itself what to do, and the will of the Iranian people, officials and commanders has been clearly expressed. But as far as the forces in the axis of resistance are concerned, it is up to them to decide how they will react and behave in the face of this event. And this is why if anyone from the forces of resistance across the region decides to exact just retribution, it will be their own decision, their own will and their own choice. They are not Iranian instruments or puppets. I tell you frankly. Iran will ask nothing of its friends, allies and those it has supported, defended and assisted for 40 years. Iran will ask absolutely nothing from anyone.

Iran is in mourning today because it lost one of its greatest men, one of its greatest generals, one of its greatest commanders and one of its greatest heroes and symbols. But Iran will not ask for anything.

As for us, you, the people, the friends, our brothers and beloved ones, how will we respond? Are we going to be content with condolences, press releases and funeral ceremonies? It is not an attack on Iran but on the entire axis of resistance. A new stage is being prepared by which the Americans and the “Israelis” will measure their achievement. This stage will target everyone and serves U.S. and “Israeli” objectives. 

We must all, throughout our region and our Ummah, work to exact just retribution. Therefore, what is just retribution? I will also be transparent because we have had such an experience, yet I do not want to go into details.

Some might argue – you can see this during meetings, on social media, in the newspapers and media outlets in Iran – that a just retribution must target someone that has the same importance and worth as Qassem Soleimani. Who exactly? The Chief of Staff of the American Army? The US Defense Secretary? Intermediate commanders? In reality, there is no figure whose value is comparable to that of Qassem Soleimani or Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. There is no one! Qassem Soleimani’s shoe is worth more than the Trump’s and all the American leadership. Qassem Soleimani’s shoe!

There is no equivalent to Qassem Soleimani or Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis for one to decide to exact revenge and retribution. No. A just retribution, frankly and clearly, should be aimed at the following: the American military presence in the region. [Ending] the American military presence in our region and [targeting] the US military bases, US military ships, and all the American officers and soldiers who are in our region, in our countries and on our lands. It’s the US military that killed these martyrs, and they will pay the price. This is the equation. 

When we say this, we do not mean the American people. I hope this is very clear. We do not mean the American people. We do not mean the American citizens. There are American tradesmen, journalists, engineers, doctors and companies across our region. they are not the ones who are meant to be harmed. They must not be harmed. 

More than that, I tell you that attacking American civilians and citizens, anywhere, serves Trump’s policy. This would serve Trump’s policy and makes the battle a fight against terrorism.

This is what I think is, and I take personal responsibility for my words. Some may say that I am exaggerating, but that is not at all the case. I consider the situation in its right proportions. These are its true proportions. If we allow the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi and their companions to go unpunished , then I assure you that this will only be the beginning, a dangerous beginning  against all the resistance movements, the leadership of the resistance movements, all the states and entities of the resistance, the axis of resistance, the Palestinian cause and the cause of Al-Quds (Jerusalem). After that, the region would be subjected to a large American and “Israeli” violations.

If we let it go unanswered, whatever we do next, all that is dearest to us in this world will be lost. Can I be clearer than that? Can we accept that our blood, our dignity, our countries, our choices and our people be spilled and squandered and that our holy places be given away to the Zionists?! We will never accept this. If some are willing to accept it, that’s their problem.

You could tell me that this is a point of dispute. Yes, it is a point of disagreement, a point of debate, and has been for a long time. It’s not new. It has been a point of dispute since 1982, at least the very least.

On the other hand, if the resistance forces and the people of the region are heading in this direction, I assure you that the Americans will leave our region. They will leave humiliated, defeated and terrified as they have done in the past. As they have done in the past. The self-sacrificing martyrs who expelled the Americans from our region in the past are still present, and in numbers much more than ever. The mujahedeen and resistance fighters who expelled US troops from our region in the past were very small in number, oppressed, afraid that men might despoil and kidnap them. But today, we are peoples, forces, factions and armies with massive capabilities.

If the peoples of our region worked towards achieving this goal, what will be the consequence of all this? When speaking with such frankness and clarity, there is no point in having megaphones or uttering void and tasteless threats. When the coffins of American soldiers and officers begin to be transported and when US officers and soldiers who came in vertically return to the United States horizontally, that is the time when Trump and his administration will realize that they have lost the region and will lose the elections.
Our will and our objective in the axis of resistance must be the following: the answer to the murder of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi is to expel American forces from our entire region!

If we achieve this goal, and it will be achieved, God willing, the liberation of al-Quds as well as the Palestinian people regaining all the holy places of Palestine will be a stone’s throw away. 

When the United States leaves our region, these Zionists will pack up and leave. We might not even have to fight a battle against “Israel”.

I will conclude by saying that ignorant Trump and the fools around him do not know what they have done. Those fools and ignorant people do not know what they have done. The coming days will reveal to them. I declare to them, in the words of the great Sayyeda Zainab, peace be upon her, “You do not realize the value of our blood that you have just shed. You do not realize the value of the blood you have just shed and the bodies you have just torn.” It is not just any blood. It is not just any body. It is a whole different story.

Today, this is the just retribution for Qassem Soleimani, for Imad Moghniyeh, for Abbas al-Mousawi, for Ragheb Harb, for Mostafa Bardeddine, for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and for all the martyrs of this nation.

We do not make this decision from a position of anger or enthusiasm of the moment, on the contrary. I wrote about Hajj Qassem that, I, personally, was jubilant about his martyrdom. I am very happy for him. He found peace. He was a man who spent his entire life in jihad and hard work. From his most tender youth, in his twenties, he was on the frontlines and on the battlefields. It was time for him to rest. It’s about time for him to rest. Thank God, God the Most High and Exalted has generously granted him this long life. He lived until he was over 61 years old. It is a great blessing from God the Most High. We are in no angry or scared. On the contrary, we affirm that this pure blood is an opportunity for the nation to put an end to hegemony, occupation and arrogance, even if the consequences would be serious because the victories will be decisive and final, God willing.

With this blood, as with all the martyrs among our great and beloved martyrs, we and you, O people of the resistance, O supporters of the resistance, O patient people, the sincere and the wise, O the noblest, the most worthy and the most generous of peoples, we will continue on our path, and the blood of the martyrs will not have been shed in vain. And we will be victorious in the end.

May the peace of God as well as His mercy and His blessings be upon you.

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