What after Soleimani?

What after Soleimani?

Exactly as the US Defense Secretary Mark Esper had said last Thursday, “the game has changed”.

Following the attack on an Iraqi base by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias in Iraq, where American troops were stationed, the US retaliated, and the American retaliatory raid resulted in the death of 25 of the terrorists.

It was an operation that concluded with the American drone attack leading to the elimination of the senior Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani.

Undoubtedly, the elimination of Soleimani has been carried out in line with the direct orders of US President Trump. It marks a qualitative change in the American administration’s policy and confirms the capability of American intelligence to infiltrate Iranian defenses and the Iranian-backed terrorist organizations in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Definitely, getting rid of Soleimani is a great accomplishment for the US Army, as the man was almost the second or third most powerful figure in Iran after its supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He was in charge of the most important dossiers of the Iranian regime, including the Iranian geopolitical project aiming to expand its influence and then to impose its hegemony, especially over the Arab world. From this perspective, he was a prized prey and it was the end of a criminal (murderer).

However, does the elimination of Soleimani mean the end of the Iranian scheme of destabilization, hegemony and expansion of its influence?

Of course, no, because the “head of the snake” is the spiritual leader Khamenei himself. He is the one who issues orders and imposes what he sees fit, as he is the supreme religious leader “who represents Allah’s shadow on the earth”.

Furthermore, there are other prominent leaders surrounding the spiritual leader. They are in charge of the dossiers for imposing Iranian hegemony, destabilizing the region and funding the terrorist organizations that Iran is using as proxies for its activities.

They include Hashed Al-Shaabi, the Iranian-backed militias and the gangs operating with the backing of Iran in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the “Fatimids” (Al-Fatimiyyeen) in Syria and the Houthis in Yemen.

Eliminating Soleimani’s evil role for sure is a gain, but that does not mean that we should stop at this station and not depart from it.

The reason is that the Iranian evil is actually a very complicated scheme from the strategic and geopolitical aspects. It is not targeting the US and its allies alone, but the entire world.

The Iranian arrangements for the post-Qasem Soleimani phase, requires of the Gulf countries, in particular, to be even more cautious about the sleeper and active cells in order to foil the Iranian destabilizing plots.

For sure, the world will not rest unless the regime of mullahs is eradicated totally, including the pockets it has created via the Iranian-backed terrorist organizations in the region’s countries and the world.

Definitely, Soleimani was a prized prey for the US security. However, his elimination will not stop the Khamenei regime’s terror. Therefore, eliminating Soleimani is merely one blow in the war that has caused agonies for the regime of mullahs.

— The author is a Saudi writer. Follow him on Twitter: @JameelAlTheyabi