The Pentagon confirmed that the U.S. Army, by order of President Donald Trump, is responsible for a drone attack at Baghdad airport that killed General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the elite Al Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, in charge of Iran operations abroad.

By IWL International Workers League

Soleimani is one of the strong men of the core of power of the Ayatollah regime. He fulfilled the role of architect of intelligence and of the Iranian armed forces during the last two decades. Some analysts even consider him the most powerful person in the country after the Supreme Leader, Ali Jamenei. His death is a blow to Tehran.

Trump’s military action is an unacceptable provocation. It will have unpredictable consequences in the economic, political and possibly military fields. For now, Ali Jamenei, assured a “hard revenge.” The U.S. announced the deployment of 3,500 more troops to the region, to reinforce the nearly 5,200 troops regularly stationed in Iraq. The price of crude oil shot up more than 4% in the markets in view of a war escalation. The world is on alert.

IWL strongly condemns this new imperialist attack that threatens the sovereignty of Iran and Iraq. The world hegemonic power shows, once again, its oppressive character in the Middle East, a region particularly drenched with the blood of entire peoples massacred through wars of conquest; of military coups sponsored by U.S. capital; and, as if this were not enough, through Washington’s firm support for genocidal theocratic dictators for decades, starting with the Zionist state of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

While imperialist pillage is insatiable and has claimed countless lives in the Middle East, it is possible that Trump’s motives, in ordering this action, are even more malicious. At the domestic level, there is enough reason to associate, at least partially, this unexpected attack on electoral calculations by the current White House guest, eager to galvanize the most conservative and warmongering electorate sector; or divert attention from the impeachment process that Trump recently suffered in the House of Representatives. It is even possible to glimpse a possible intention to indirectly help his strategic ally in the region, the genocidal State of Israel, whose government is going through a major political crisis and will also go through a complicated electoral process. Israel, faced with a possible Iranian response, did not delay in declaring maximum alert.

In a hypocritical way, Trump justified the attack by claiming that Soleimani was a bloodthirsty commander inside and outside his country that “should have died many years ago.” Certainly, Soleimani was not only a key piece in the Iranian dictatorial-theocratic regime, but also made up its most repressive and warmongering wing. It is estimated that the brutal repression of recent protests in Iran caused between 200 and 400 deaths.

In addition, Soleimani’s hands are stained with blood from his participation, commanding Iranian death squads, in Syria and Iraq. As is well known, in Syria the Iranian regime – together with Russia, Hezbollah and China – is responsible for drowning the popular revolution in blood and keeping the bloodthirsty dictator Bashar Al-Assad in power. In Iraq, Soleimani was responsible for the murder of thousands of demonstrators of the ongoing revolution. It is not difficult to understand why many Iraqi protesters, who have spent months facing the government at the cost of more than 400 dead, have celebrated his death.

But nobody can fool themselves with supposed imperialist humanitarian motives . The attack that killed Soleimani can only be understood in the context of  permanent U.S. hostility to Iranian sovereignty, particularly its nuclear weapons development project. After a progressive disarmament agreement reached with the Obama administration – which meant a huge capitulation by the Ayatollahs -, President Trump withdrew from it in 2018 and resumed economic sanctions. The murder of the main military figure in Iran opens a serious escalation in this conflict in an explosive context.

For example, on December 31, thousands of protesters surrounded the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in retaliation for a U.S. attack on the border of Iraq with Syria that left 25 dead. The chant was: Death to America!

Without granting any political support to the Ayatollah dictatorial regime, we stand by the Iranian people against any imperialist aggression. It is time to express, in the streets, a complete repudiation of Trump’s attack on Iran and Iraq.

At the same time, we must express support for the uprisings that shake the region again, mainly in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran itself.

Imperialist hands off Iran, Iraq and the Middle East!

Translation: Blas ( Corriente Obrera Lit-ci)