Spanish – The news shook the world: General Qasem Soleimani of Iran was killed as per the order of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in response to the attack on the American embassy in Iraq by a pro-Iran mob.
Although the incident took place on another continent, fears are growing that the war will escalate worldwide as Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for “severe revenge” for Soleimani’s death.
Given that Iran has been part of the alliance that collaborates with the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, with Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, and through a technological partnership, with Evo Morales when he was President of Bolivia, the impact of this death could have consequences on the American continent.
Especially in the United States, which is in the middle of an election campaign and it was Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, who, according to the Pentagon, ordered the drone strike aimed at the vehicle in which the Iranian general was being transported.
To better understand the impact of the attack, PanAm Post consulted Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for the Study of a Free and Secure Society, a global security expert who specializes in asymmetric warfare theory and transnational threats.
What does Soleimani’s death mean for the Maduro regime and the region (South America)?
Soleimani’s death is significant for many countries and governments that collaborated with Iran’s Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guard) in different activities. In Venezuela, the Maduro regime has a close relationship with the Pasdaran that includes front companies, military industry cooperation, and intelligence. Now that Soleimani is dead, Iran can activate Pasdaran networks in at least sixteen Latin American countries to take revenge against the United States and/or our allies in the region.
How does it affect Trump’s presidential campaign?
For the time being, Soleimani’s death may be favorable to Trump’s presidential campaign because it shows his commitment to the fight terrorism and his staunch opposition against Iran’s aggression. But if this escalates into an all-out war in the Middle East, it could negatively affect his campaign.
Why is Soleimani’s death more important than that of Osama bin Laden?
Soleimani was the one providing intelligence, financial, and logistical support to Osama bin Laden. In some ways, he helped bin Laden grow in power, and without the Pasdaran, bin Laden he would never have been such a potent threat to the West. Soleimani supported several terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, which overall are larger than al-Qaeda. In recent years Soleimani has been responsible for more deaths of Syrians, Americans, Afghans, Yemenis, than bin Laden, and even 9/11 (the attack on the Twin Towers) had clandestine support from Iran. In the fight against terrorism, our main enemy is Iran, much more than al Qaeda.
Taking out Gen. Suleimani is a big deal! Bigger than killing Bin Laden. The IRGC-QF is active around the world including in Latin America. Our partners worldwide, including and especially south of the border, need to be on alert.
— Joseph M. Humire (@jmhumire) January 3, 2020
Does his death help the Iranian people?
Yes, his death helps the Iranian people, but more than anything, it helps the Iraqi, Syrian, Afghan people, and those of other countries, where General Soleimani was responsible for repressing the citizens in favor of the dictators or powerful regimes. The Pasdaran Quds Force, which Soleimani was in charge of, is responsible for taking action outside Iran and expanding the Islamic revolution. In other words, they operate more outside than inside Iran. However, the Iranian people know that Soleimani was a figure very close to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
Do you think there is a risk of escalation into a war between the United States and Iran?
Yes, there is always this risk.