Opinion: Let’s not believe that Qassem Soleimani was beloved by the Iranian people, and that they were unaware of cruelty with his Revolutionary Guard crushed their popular protests; this is a country in dire economic straits whose reach should not be overestimated

Less than a week after the assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani, I feel I have to say to everyone – please relax.

Contrary to predictions, the stock markets have not crashed, in fact, they’ve barely moved outside normal fluctuation. Oil prices have not spiked, they’ve risen by $2.8 per barrel – again a perfectly normal fluctuation.

איראן כרמאן הלוויה קאסם סולימאני
The funeral for Qassem Soliemani in his hometown of Kerman (Photo: AP)


But most notably, out of a population of 81 million, only a fraction of Iranians have bothered to publicly show their deep sorrow at the passing of Soleimani, who according to the talking heads was the “revered leader whom all of Iran is mourning.

איראן טהרן טקס הלוויה ל קאסם סולימאני
An Iranian official weeps at Qasem Soleimani’s funeral procession in Tehran (Photo: AFP)


As the deceased’s funeral cortege left Baghdad for Tehran, it included just a few hundred thousand members from pro-Iranian organizations.

The fact that Western media outlets were unable to interview anyone who would praise the death of Soleimani, a cruel man with blood of thousands of Iranians and hundred of thousands of Syrians on his hands, reflects those outlets’ failings rather than being indicative of public opinion.

קאסם סולימאני הלוויה איראן טהרן
Qasem Soleimani funeral procession in Tehran (Photo: EPA)


Iran’s population has been suffering under the regime. Barring 2015, when the nuclear deal was signed, Iran has been on an economic downward spiral. Its GDP over the past two years is down by at least 10%.

At the end of 2019, Iran’s economy was $100 million smaller than its potential if the U.S. sanctions had not been in effect.

Inflation has exceeded 40% per annum and the black market now reaches monstrous proportions.

Oil and gas exports have collapsed, and any rebuilding of oil fields has stopped.

Unemployment has reached 15%, with young Iranian unemployment numbers double that; even so, many are leaving their jobs and finding income in undocumented part-time positions with undeclared salaries.
In contrast to the financial ruin of normal Iranians, the ruling class of religious and military
leaders has accumulated immense wealth.

עלי חמינאי טקס הלויה ל סולימאני ב טהרן איראן בוכה
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei mourns Qasem Soleimani (Photo: AFP)


The Revolutionary Guard Corps is more than a military organization. It is a conglomerate with holdings in most sectors of the Iranian economy and is responsible for much of the corruption that plagues it.

The Guard members are hated by the average Iranian, who sees them as oppressors guarding an oppressive regime.

It would be wrong to believe educated Iranians are unaware of the murderous role played by Soleimani and his men in the massacre of Syrian rebels, nor are they ignorant of the cruelty in which Iranian popular protests were recently crushed.

מחאה הפגנות הפגנה נגד מחיר מחירי דלק עיר אספהאן איראן
Anti-government demonstration in Iran last month (Photo: AFP)


Iranians are well aware of these facts, and that is why so few of regular people – who are not government employees or party officials – were actually out on the streets mourning the dead commander.

Some American commentators called the slain Iranian “a military genius,” which is a far cry from a true reflection of his forces’ many failures in Syria.

Despite the brutal killing of civilians, it was not the Revolutionary Guard forces who could be credited with Assad’s win. It was the carpet bombings carried out by Russia that solidified the victory of the Syrian regime.

The rule of the ayatollahs in Iran should not be underestimated, but nor should it be seen for more than it is.

As reported by Ynetnews