DUBAI: A statue in central Iran of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force who was killed in a targeted US operation on Jan. 3, 2020, was torched after it has been unveiled to commemorate his death anniversary.
Supporters of the Iranian opposition movement the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran burned the newly installed statue at the Hazrat Qamarbani Hashem Square in Shahrekord of central Iran on Wednesday evening, a few hours after government officials unveiled the sculpture.
“The Iranian people despised Soleimani for his active and direct role in the bloody suppression of several nationwide uprisings in Iran, his involvement in six deadly attacks on members of the Mujahedin-Khalq (MEK), when they were based in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, and his activities in directing, arming and financing Iran regime’s proxy groups in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen,” Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told Arab News.
“The fact that the resistance units acted so quickly, just a few hours after the unveiling of the statue points to their resilience and capabilities, considering that the regime's security forces would be watchful.”
Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad ordered by Trump, along with his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, infuriating Iran and its allies. Iranian officials have vowed repeatedly that the Quds Force commander’s death would be avenged.
“The MEK has developed a vast network of activists inside Iran, who are quite active despite the many arrests and the extreme security measures the regime has been undertaking,” Safavi said.
Iranian news agency ISNA has confirmed that Soleimani’s statue “in a brazen act was set on blaze last night by some unknown individuals.”