07:18 GMT07 March 2021
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    by
    20694
    Subscribe

    The final days of Donald Trump's presidential administration featured combat drills by both US and Iranian forces in the Middle East, including a flyover by nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress bombers and an Iranian ballistic missile test that splashed down near US warships.

    On Donald Trump’s last day in office as US President, two Iranian figures conjured the memory of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soliemani, who commanded Iran’s elite Quds Force until he was assassinated at Trump’s order in January 2020.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Wednesday that Trump, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other members of Trump’s administration “are relegated to the dustbin of history in disgrace.”

    ​“But the memories of Gen Soleimani & the 1000s murdered, maimed & starved of food & meds by Trump's state—& economic—terrorism & crimes against humanity, will shine on,” Zarif wrote, adding that “Perhaps new folks in DC have learned.”

    On Wednesday in the United States, US President Joe Biden was sworn into office in a heavily muted ceremony in Washington, DC. Just weeks earlier, supporters of Trump mounted an armed insurrection and stormed the US Capitol building, dispersing Congress but failing in their objective to halt certification of the November 2020 election results that showed Biden as the winner. Unprecedented heavy security hung over the event, including miles of barricades surrounding the federal district downtown and a garrison of 25,000 troops to ward off any potential violent actions.

    Biden has indicated he is willing to reverse one of Trump’s most destructive acts against Iran - the 2018 withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal - and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani called on the newly minted US president to fulfill that promise. When Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, it brought the return of destructive sanctions that have strangled Iran’s economy and frustrated its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Soleimani’s daughter Zaynab also added her voice to the chorus of condemnation, writing in a Wednesday post retweeted by Zarif that she was glad to see him leave in disgrace. Trump was impeached for a second time last week, this time on charges that he incited the failed putsch at the Capitol on January 6.

    ​“Mr. Trump, you murdered my father, the General who led the victorious war against ISIS/Al-Qaeda, with the perverse hope that you will be seen as some sort of hero,” the younger Soleimani wrote. “But instead you are defeated, isolated & broken - viewed not as a hero, but one who lives in fear of foes. The irony.”

    Gen. Soleimani was killed by a US airstrike outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020, alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces. In the aftermath of the attack, Trump claimed to have evidence Soleimani was planning attacks on several US embassies in the Middle East, although senior intelligence and defense officials later said his claims were doubtful at best.

    The slain general was highly regarded throughout the Middle East for his leadership role in the coalition war against Daesh*, helping to organize Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian forces to reclaim territory occupied by the terrorist group, which included Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul.

    In an interview with RT’s Afshin Rattansi last month, Soleimani said she regarded Biden and Trump as “the same guy.”

    “They are following the same policy, there is no difference between them,” Soleimani told the host of Going Underground. “Trump ordered the killing of my father, but Biden supported that, so there’s no difference.”

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other states

    Related:

    China, Iran & Russia: Blinken Sheds Light on Foreign Policy Aspirations of Biden Administration
    Iran Producing Half-a-Kilo of High-Grade Uranium Fuel Per Day, Says Atomic Energy Chief
    'Ball is in US Court': Rouhani Calls on President-Elect Biden to Return to Iran Nuclear Deal
    Tags:
    Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Qasem Soleimani
    Community standardsDiscussion