Soleimani directly involved in suppressing Iran protests: Former IRGC General
Slain Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was directly involved in suppressing protests inside Iran, according to the former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari.
“Qassem Soleimani was on the streets in the fight against the counter-revolutionary and took effective measures to control insecurity and riots in 1999 and 2009,” Jafari, who headed the IRGC from 2007 to 2019, tweeted on Sunday.
Jafari’s tweet refers to the Iranian student protests in 1999 and the protests that followed Iran’s controversial presidential election in 2009.
In 1999, Soleimani was one of 24 IRGC commanders who warned then-President Mohammad Khatami in a letter that if he did not put an end to the student protests, the IRGC would step in and do it itself.
“Soleimani was at the Tharallah base on many occasions,” Jafari added in the same tweet.
The Tharallah base is an IRGC base in Tehran which oversaw the suppression of protests in the Iranian capital that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election.
Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the overseas arms of the IRGC, was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport last month.
Anti-government protests broke out across Iran in 2019 and early 2020. The Iranian authorities cracked down on the protesters with lethal force, with the exact death toll contested.
The fate of thousands of Iranian protesters arrested since last November remains unknown, with their relatives fearing they are dead as they have not received any information from authorities, according to a report by the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran.