The 310th Night of Memory – 1

He sacrificed his life for revolution, Islam and Iranian nation

Islamic Republic, values and Velayat-e Faqih are legacies of Imam Khomeini

Maryam Rajabi
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


According to the website of Iranian Oral History, the 310th program of the Night of Memory of the Sacred Defense was held in Sooreh Hall of the Art Center on Thursday evening, 23rd of January 2020. In this show, Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi, Morteza Sarhangi, and Majid Yusefzadeh recounted their memoirs about Haj Qassem Soleimani and defense in Syria.

The first narrator of the show was the Representative of the Leader of Islamic Revolution in IRGC Qods Corps, Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi. He said, “I am talking about the war time, the days when the Iraqis captured Qassem Soleimani. He was in the hands of Iraqis. A bulldozer was working. The sound of bulldozer was high. He had been imprisoned inside a trench. There was a tape recorder inside the trench. He had recorded the sound of the bulldozer and then turned it on with high volume. The sound was heard in the whole frontline of the enemy. He went behind the same bulldozer and came back toward friendly forces. There was no fear in his heart. I mentioned this memory that you know that even when captured by the enemy, he was an innovator, he had a designing mind, and he was connected to God. He found the entire power in God. He did not say even one time that I did this or that; whether during the war, after the war, in Lebanon, Syria, or Iraq. He considered God as the main power. The enemy seized the town of Mehran for the second time in 1986. The Karbala Headquarters was busy designing an operation to liberate Mehran. A meeting was held. Given the enemy’s domination over Qalavizan Hills, what division has the power to retake the Qalavizan Hills? That day, General Soleimani said in the meeting, “We have two battalions. The two battalions are the people of midnight praying, vigil, and weeping. I can liberate the Qalavizan Hills with these two battalions”. They broke the enemy’s line and liberated Qalavizan. He had such a view during forty years of war with the enemies. He paid attention to the forces during the war; it made no difference for him whether it was before, during or after the operation. The firepower was not intense in any operation like Operation Karbala 5. The enemy used the most intense firepower against our combatants in Operation Karbala 5. He had to deliver warm food, best fruits and even sodas to the combatants at the height of the operations like Karbala 1 and at the height of the enemy’s heavy fire in Operation Karbala 5. His compassion for the guys of the war was even more than his compassion for his own children. He loved the guys of the war. He was weeping for any combatant or commander whose flag fell down and was martyred. His lectures after any operation are available. When an operation came to an end, the combatants were ready that Haj Qassem came and delivered a speech in the division. He looked forward to martyrdom since those days till today. After the commanders of his brigade like Haj Younis Zangi Abadi and Qassem Mirhosseini, the Deputy Commander of Sarallah Division were martyred in Operation Karbala 5, he said in a speech, “I cannot tolerate to stay anymore”.  He loved the war guys, the forces of the Qods Corps and the combatants defending the shrines till the last day of his life. Haj Qassem did not belong to himself; he belonged to the resistance front and all Iranians. Every man and woman, who saw him everywhere, went toward him, insisting to take a photo with him. But, at the top of power, he was thinking of only one thing; working for God. It made no difference for him whether it was day or night. In his two or three week-trip to Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, he sometimes did not sleep more than ten hours. He was looking for visiting the families of the martyrs. Here, I should mention and testify that more than being present in the front, Haj Qassem liked to accustom to the child of a martyr, talk to him or her, they talk with him and had less love to see his own children. He loved to serve the disabled war veterans and the martyrs’ families all day and night. I have already mentioned this point: there was a meeting which took until 8 PM. The continuation of the meeting was postponed to the next morning at 6 o’clock. When we came to the meeting in the next morning, he told me: I went to Isfahan last night when the meeting was finished and visited a disabled war veteran who was a member of Sarallah Division during the war and returned early in the morning to take part in the meeting. That war veteran was martyred in 2013. When he went to the house of a martyr or a war veteran, he was no longer the Haj Qassem Soleimani, the Commander of the globally known Qods Force. He was a servant at the service of the families’ martyrs, sympathized with them, wept with them and lived with them. Sometimes, the children of the martyrs went to his office or house and you. You could not find even one day that Haj Qassem Soleimani did not talk with the child or a family of a martyr. It made no difference whether he was in Lebanon, Syria or Iran. He was available to the children of martyrs. His last recommendations were made to the person in charge of the Kerman’s Martyr Foundation in the last two or three months to consider the children of the martyrs as yours and consider their hardship as yours and work for them round-the-clock. He also worked for both the martyrs and their children round-the-clock. He did not value for position and protection. When he saw the children of the martyrs, without paying attention to his protection, took their hands and went with them to religious places in Tehran. They treated with like a father so that they did not feel they have no father. But his love in martyrdom had grown in all of these days especially in recent days. I refer to a few sentences of his will, "Oh God! Oh dear! it's been many years that I have been left behind a caravan and I'm constantly sending people to it, but I myself have been left behind. My creator! My darling! My love! I have continuously asked you to fill my whole body with your love, burn and die me in your separation, I have left for the wilderness as a result of the scandal and relentless of being left behind. I in a hope go from town to town and from desert to desert in summer and winter. Karim! Habib! I have given my heart to your benevolence. You know well that I love you. You know well that I want nobody except you. Connect me to yourself. My darling! My love and my sweetheart! I love you! I saw and felt you many times. I cannot stay away from you. Enough is enough! Accept me. But in a way that I deserve you."

A report was given to him on 23rd of September 2018. The report said, "The US and Zionists have threatened to kill you anywhere we see." Haj Qassem responded, "In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, Oh God! I hope to be killed by the worst enemies of your religion". It was his long-held dream. Three hours before his martyrdom, he wrote, "Oh God! My love in seeing you is like the moment the Moses burned in your separation and could not tolerate it. I am burning in your separation." He signed but did not satisfy and wrote again, "Oh god, accept me pure." And he was martyred. In his will to his wife, He writes, "Bury me in Kerman's Martyrs Cemetery where the martyrs of Sarallah have been buried."  The people for whom he burned for lifetime. Since the beginning of the war to the last day in Iran, both his office and his guesthouse were full of the photos of the martyrs of Sarallah Division, the martyrs defending shrine and the martyrs of Lebanon. He lived and talked with them, he burned for them, went to their houses. He said if I was successful, it was because the martyrs' fathers and mothers pray for me day and night in my name. and he wrote in the last moment, "Oh God, I want to be buried beside the Kerman's martyrs, beside the grave of martyr Yusefollahi, the great mystic of Sarallah Division, the person in charge of the division's Intelligence Department who was martyred during the Operation Karbala 8". Then he wrote to bury him like other martyrs. My grave stone should be like other martyrs and write just this title on my grave stone, Soldier Qassem Soleimani. If we want to explain the title soldier, it should be found in a letter written to him and he responded. A young Iranian wrote a letter to General Soleimani on April 2017. He in the letter asked the general to come and run for presidency. He responded, "My dear brother! Thanks for your kindness. Thanks God, in our country, there are so many important, valuable, anonymous and well-known individuals that there is no need for a soldier to leave his post. I am honored to be a soldier with a post for defending a nation about whom Imam Khomeini said, “I sacrifice my life for them.” It is a betrayal to leave this post in a situation that the wolves have ambushed. This was the view of general Soleimani. He did not consider himself as major general. He did not consider himself as a commander. He considered himself as a soldier and said this title to be written on his grave stone. When a man did not see himself, a nation roars for him. Iran roared. Iraq burned. Lebanon shouted. Syria wept for General Qassem Soleimani. The Resistance Front held a ceremony for him. The whole Iran burned for him even in those provinces whose body was not taken. Many cities including Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz and Tabriz sent messages to bring his body for funeral if possible. He was the son of all provinces. He was the son of the revolution. He was the son of the Imam.

And finally I should refer to his view to clarify more. Why did he burn? Why did he endeavor? What was his view? What was his thinking? Haj Qassem wrote in his will, “Oh God, I thank you for placing me after your righteous servant the dear Imam Khomeini on the path of another righteous servant whose oppression is the greatest, a man who is the today’s sage of Islam, Shiism, Iran and the political world of Islam, the dear Khamenei for whom I sacrifice my life. The brothers and sisters of my Iran! The honorable and proud people for whom I and people like me like to sacrifice our lives for thousands of times as you sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives for Islam and Iran. Take care of the principles. Principles mean Valy-e Faqif or Supreme Jurisprudent, especially this oppressed and pious sage in religion, jurisprudence, mysticism and knowledge, the dear Khamenei. Protect him as your life. In political issues where Islam, Islamic Republic, sanctities and Velayat-e Faqih or Governance of Supreme Jurisprudent are brought up, these are the color of God. Prefer the color of God on any other color. But listen to the advices of the Valy, to his recommendations and admonitions. The correct path is to support the revolution, Islamic Republic and the Valiy-e Faqih without any consideration. The Islamic Republic, values and Velayat-e Faqih are the legacies of Imam Khomeini and should be backed seriously.” This was the view of general Soleimani. He loved the Vleayat, he loved the people, he loved Islam and the Islamic Republic and sacrificed his life for the revolution and Iranian nation.               

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