Soleimani has been at the helm of the IRGC’s Quds Force — a division mainly responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations – since 1998.
His Instagram page was frozen just a day after the IRGC was formally blacklisted by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation following a relevant announcement by President Donald Trump on 8 April.
The move “recognises the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft”, Trump said in a statement at the time.
This marked the first time ever that the United States has named part of a foreign government a terrorist organisation.
In retaliation, the Iranian Supreme National Security Council accused the US government of supporting terrorism and recognised the US Central Command as a terrorist organisation itself.