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What America needs to understand about Qasim Soleimani

Before his death in a US airstrike, Soleimani was a canny, ruthless military leader. In this profile from 2019, Arron Merat asked if Trump fundamentally misunderstood the motives of Iran's greatest defender

By Arron Merat   November 2019

In the summer of 2014, Islamic State (IS) blindsided Iran by occupying a third of neighbouring Iraq. The self-styled caliphate captured a town only 20 miles from the border with Iran named Jalawla, where Islam’s second caliph Omar defeated the Persian Empire in 637. Jalawla was also where, 1,377 years later, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had invaded Iran. For Iranians, the enemy was once more at the gates.

Within days, Tehran dispatched Qasim Soleimani, the commander of its overseas paramilitary forces. There he co-ordinated the…

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