Middle East

Voices from Iran: 'Qasem Soleimani did not deserve such a fate'

An Iranian woman holds a photo of picture of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani at his funeral in Tehran (6 January 2020) Image copyright EPA
Image caption The conflicts in Iraq and Syria turned Qasem Soleimani into something of a celebrity in Iran

Iranians have filled the centre of Tehran for the funeral procession of General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq last week.

Soleimani was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' clandestine overseas operations arm, the Quds Force, and was one of the most powerful figures in Iran.

Iranians have been sharing their thoughts on the killing with BBC Persian.

Paniz

I believe Soleimani did not deserve such a fate. He did a lot for Iran, protecting this country. He fought Daesh [the jihadist group Islamic State], the Taliban, etc.

Our enemies have been attacking our country for the past four decades and he tried to save the country.

Massoud

Sadly, I can say many people in Iran are suffering from a paradox.

They blame this regime and the supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] for what is happening inside Iran, and they say the leader is a tyrant. But today they are mourning for Qasem Soleimani, who was the right hand of the same tyrant leader.

How can they call him a hero? The partner and right hand of a dictator cannot be a hero.

Ali

I agree that we have some issues in this country. We have economic difficulties, human rights issues, a lack of freedom of speech, etc. But these issues are internal and should be dealt with, within the country.

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Media captionWho was Qasem Soleimani?

The new situation we are facing is external. One of us Iranians was killed by foreigners. Our sense of patriotism would not allow us to side with the foreigners in this matter. We should be uniting against this [US] action.

Hamidreza

I do not buy this argument that Qasem Soleimani had only been dealing with foreign affairs [as the commander of the Quds Force], or that he had nothing to do with the repression that ordinary Iranians are suffering from.

Soleimani was one of them [Iran's leadership]. If we are against this repressive regime, we are against every single person who is part of it.

Sara

I do not understand those who thank President Trump for this attack and question what Soleimani had been doing in Syria and Iraq.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (centre) and President Hassan Rouhani (3rd left) attended Qasem Soleimani's funeral in Tehran

If Iran should not be allowed to interfere in neighbouring countries, why should Americans be allowed to come to our region all the way from the other side of the Earth?

Erfan

Qasem Soleimani was not a hero, in my opinion. He was a basic soldier, overrated by the establishments in Iran and the US.

People are being too emotional about his death.

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