Iran’s al-Quds commander General Qasem Soleimani was killed a few hours before he had an important meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
General Soleimani was killed while preparing to meet the Iraqi Prime Minister
Major-General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone attack on Baghdad International Airport on January 3, in an attack directly ordered by President Donald Trump, resulting in the the deaths of more than 10 Iraqis, including the Commander of the People’s Mobilization Units (PMU), a coalition of Iraqi Shiite militia groups, number nearly 100.
The already tense situation in the Middle East escalated further after the assassination of General Soleimani. According to US President Donald Trump, his administration took a preemptive action against the Iranian general in order to “prevent a war instead of starting a new one”.
An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the United States had crossed the “red line” after the January 3 airstrike, while Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that “fierce retaliation is taking place”. waiting “for Washington.
In turn, Trump strongly warned of Teheran’s retaliation, which he said the US military would monitor at least 52 cultural and military sites of Iran. In response, Iran also announced that it would place 32 US military bases in the Middle East within its sights.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on January 6 made statements regarding the killing of the commander of the al-Quds task force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). According to him, the Iranian general arrived in Iraq “not by sneaky” but by meeting himself.
Speaking with Iraqi lawmakers on January 6, Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi said that he himself planned to meet General Qasem Soleimani at 8:30 am local time on January 3, just a few hours after point US army killed this general.
Although Abdul Mahdi did not disclose the contents of the talks between the two sides and the stage of the negotiation process, the Iraqi Prime Minister regrets Baghdad’s efforts in mediating the talks. between Tehran and Riyadh amid growing regional tensions.
|General Soleimani is considered Iran’s highest representative in the Middle East|
Although it did not mention directly the intention of the United States and did not comment on Washington’s statements about the purpose of killing the Iranian general, but by the words of the head of the Iraqi government, it was dimly realized. the fact that Soleimani was assassinated was because he recently gave Iran’s answer to an earlier Saudi message about talks between Tehran and Riyadh.
Is the United States stopping an Iranian ally’s approach to Iran?
Tensions between Tehran and Riyadh as well as in the Gulf region have increased sharply following a number of tanker attacks in the Strait of Hormuz and the arrests of tankers between Britain and Iran last summer.
Then, in mid-September, the Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas production and processing facilities Saudi Aramco were attacked by unmanned aircraft, an action that was launched by Yemeni rebel movement Houthi. stand out to accept responsibility.
However, Saudi Arabia and its US allies insist that Houthi rebels in Yemen are unlikely to carry out such an attack and accuse Iran of having organized the attacks.
In September last year, the US intended to establish an International Maritime Escorting Union in the Persian Gulf, but the plan was unsuccessful without the support of allies in the region. After that, Saudi Arabia announced that it would solve its own problems by itself and start contacting with Iran through intermediaries.
The Tehran government has also expressed goodwill in this regard. Commenting on the talks of Tehran-Riyadh in mid-October, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Islamic Republic is always ready to negotiate directly with Saudi Arabia or interact through mediators. space.
It is unclear which concessions Iran and Saudi have made to the opponent, but in recent times tensions in the Strait of Hormuz have cooled down, and tense information about the arteries that transport oil through the Gulf of Ba Tư has hardly appeared in the media.
It is clear that the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have had positive changes, and there is certainly a contribution in the active intermediary role of the Iraqi Prime Minister and the decisions of General Soleimani.
But now that Iran’s most powerful official abroad has been killed, the high-level information channel between Riyadh and Tehran has been cut off after a US attack at an international airport in Baghdad. of Iraq.
Thus, just by this air strike, the US stopped direct negotiations between the archenemy of the United States, Iran, and its most important ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia.