Quds Force Commander Ghaani in Martyr Soleimani’s Footsteps, Supporting the Resistance Continues – Adviser
By Mokhtar Haddad
Tehran - Following the 14th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon’s July 2006 war, Al-Ahed news interviewed Sheikh Ismail Saadat, the Supreme Adviser to the Commander of the Quds Force. During the war, Sheikh Saadat acted as the representative to the Wali al-Faqih [Guardian Jurist] in the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force.
The following interview sheds light on his memories during the days of the divine victory and the role of former Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Martyr Qassem Soleimani:
* On the anniversary of the victory in the July 2006 war, what is your message to Lebanon and its resistance?
- In July 2006, our dear brother, martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani, was the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force. One of the important tasks of the Quds Force is to support the Islamic Resistance and prepare it to fight the enemy. Of course, when the core of the resistance, Hezbollah, come under attack, it is the duty of the Quds Force to support it. This is why, martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani was in the battlefield.
The next point is that our dear brother Hajj Qassem had a strong religious fervor, and I saw this unrivaled enthusiasm in martyr Soleimani during different stages. In other words, if he saw the oppressed somewhere being attacked, he would get restless.
I remember when a terrorist group of hypocrites opposing the Islamic Revolution [in the 1980s] demonstrated in Kerman. I went to Hajj Qassem’s house and told him that the hypocrites were holding a demonstration. He said: “Well, what are they saying?” I said that they are calling for the Jamaran Hussainiya to be bombed.
His demeanor changed and he asked, "How can we be alive when these people are offending His Eminence Imam Khomeini?"
He quickly ran down the alley, barefoot, calling on young men to go with him. After two hours I called him to find out what happened. He said to me, "It's over."
He was a fervid human being, and therefore, when Hezbollah and Lebanon were subjected to air, land, and sea aggression, Hajj Qassem could not remain silent.
The third point is that Hajj Qassem was a soldier of the wilaya. During those days, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khamenei, instructed the Quds Force to immediately support Hezbollah. Therefore, Hajj Qassem, heeding the leadership’s order went to Lebanon.
With these three points in mind, Hajj Qassem, joined the Mujahid, the brave leader, and Arab hero, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the battlefield at the beginning of the Zionist attack on Lebanon.
Despite all the difficulties and life under siege, Hajj Qassem arrived in Lebanon, and a few days later he returned to Iran to present a detailed report to His Eminence the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the situation. He then delivered an important message from Imam Khamenei to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Imam Khamenei recommended that people in Lebanon recite Jawshan Sagheer supplication during the days of the war. As Imam Khamenei told Sayyed Nasrallah in his message, this war and aggression were planned by the Zionist entity in advance.
In one of my meetings with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, he read the reports and analyzed the situation. He then said it had become clear that the Zionists planned this war before the soldiers were captured. The operation only made them speed up the implementation of their plan.
Our dear brother Hajj Qassem conveyed this message from His Eminence the Leader to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. He then remained by his side throughout the days of the war until its end. The presence of martyr Soleimani was a source of reassurance, and he raised the morale of the resistance fighters. This dear and beloved martyr created the greatest epic in the history of the Islamic Resistance during the 33-day war and defeated the Zionist army.
* Do you have memories with martyr Soleimani from those days?
- The July 2006 war was a divine test because it revealed the true nature of the people. Many people called for war, but after the war started, they were afraid. However, the resistance remained steadfast. I do not want to name anyone, but unfortunately when some saw the Zionist attacks and the difficulties, they said that this battle will end with the destruction of Hezbollah. In the end, Hezbollah achieved a great victory by relying on God Almighty.
As for confronting the enemy's psychological warfare, I felt that we must take serious measures to enlighten and direct the public to support Hezbollah. So, on one of the trips, Hajj Qassem returned and I had a report on this situation. I told him that we must take serious steps to enlighten the public. The martyr suggested some things to me, including that we present news of this battle with appropriate character analysis.
I told him that we should prepare a daily newsletter and display these events and news and send them to certain figures around the clock. This procedure was so effective that from the beginning of the 33-day war until the end, you did not see any inconsistency in the comments, even abroad, because we transmitted the news to the religious authorities in Iraq. Hence, everyone became one voice and said the same thing. The enemy’s psychological warfare that was intended to create divisions failed, and everyone was united in supporting Hezbollah.
* Will the martyrdom of Major General Hajj Qassem Soleimani affect the degree of Iranian support for the resistance in Lebanon?
Support for the Islamic Resistance does not depend on a single person, and this is what Imam Khomeini brought to humanity. I remember what His Eminence the late Imam said: People find their way, and even in my absence, people will continue their march, Islam, and resistance.
Imam Khomeini’s departure is a great tragedy for us, and the enemies used to say that with the departure of the Imam the revolution would end. But we saw that none of that happened. Rather, all the equations were in favor of the revolution and the regime. The timing of the Assembly of Experts’ initiative to choose the Leader as the jurist prudence was suitable. The path of the resistance and the Islamic Republic continued, thank God Almighty. The strength of the Islamic Revolution also grew.
It is true that the loss and martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani was a tragedy, but this tragedy will not affect the resistance front because at the helm of this resistance is a leader, Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei. And we are all the soldiers of the resistance and the wilaya, including Brigadier General Hajj Esmail Ghaani, who was brought up and taught in this school. Today, he carries the banner forcefully and is continuing on the path drawn and built by martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and God willing, this force will remain.