Leaders from both factions and state media tried to portray Soleimani as a national hero.
Of course, he is the most notorious leader of the IRGC, because of bloodshed and repression of the Iranian people and as well in the region. He is fully responsible for the catastrophic damage he inflicted on the people of Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and he thus deserves the title of bloodthirsty hero.
In his role in suppressing the Iranian people, it was enough that during the March 2019 floods in fear of a surge Khuzestan and Lorestan provinces, al-Ḥashd ash-Sha’bī forces led by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, entered the area under the pretext of helping flood victims.
This act aroused the anger of the Iranian people to the point that members of the regime’s parliament criticized Qasem Soleimani’s call to Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and his al-Ḥashd ash-Shaʿbī mercenaries for fear of public outrage.
Another point is the involvement of the regime’s overseas mercenaries in the suppression of the people, as was the case during the 2009 uprising when there were many popular reports from citizens that some of the oppressive forces were foreign Arabs and did not speak Farsi.
His role in suppressing the people of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon is well-known.
Therefore, the praises of the leaders of both factions are very understandable and natural for the death of such a hero in crime and bloodshed, because Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei received a devastating strategic blow inside and outside of the country. They lost their deep strategic influence.
On the importance of Soleimani’s role in advancing repression and war, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani described his role during a visit to Qasem Soleimani’s family: “His empty place is not easily replenishable. He was not only a war commander and the planer of big military operations, rather he was a unique and talented politician and strategist.” (Entekhab daily, 4 January)
It is very clear that the character that Hassan Rouhani described is in fact a criminal terrorist, in the context of his role and the terrorist force under his control in repressing the people in Iran and exporting terror and fundamentalism abroad, especially in the region.
It is because of such a criminal role that after his death, the Iraqi and Syrian people celebrated his death, and the Iranian people expressed their happiness even though they were not able to express it openly because of the oppressive atmosphere so they welcomed the huge blow on the regime via social media.
Against this extreme blow, the rulers of the Iranian regime, including Ali Khamenei, pledged revenge to raise the morale of their disparate forces at home and abroad.
Khamenei wrote in his message: “Hard revenge is awaiting the criminals who have their dirty hands stained with the blood of him and other martyrs of the incident last night.”
In the meeting with Qasem Soleimani’s family, Hassan Rouhani said, “The Americans did not realize what a great mistake they made; they will see the effects of this criminal act not only today but over the years to come.” (Entekhab website, 4 January)
The regime’s national security council postponed Khamenei’s “hard revenge” to a “right time and place.”
The promise of “hard revenge of the revenge seeker” was promised in this organization with the presence of Khamenei to the “Hezbollah people”.
But these promises also triggered an internal crisis in the regime, and Hossein Shariatmadari, the managing editor of Keyhan daily, challenged it and wrote in Keyhan: In the statement by the Supreme National Security Council also states that ‘these criminals will be faced with revenge of the revenge seekers of Soleimani’s blood at the right place and time” should not be added because the sentence “right place and time” by diplomatic traditions is not showing any decisiveness!”
Hossein Shariatmadari also blasted the Rouhani government’s actions on Soleimani’s death and said: “The State Department spokesman has called the Swiss ambassador two times, while the second time was to respond to the Americans’ message! This commuting, and sending and receiving messages is worrying, and it can be a trick for America to cool down the story and get rid of the hard revenge!” (Keyhan, 4 January)
These are hollow threats and the commotion about revenge but show a deep crisis in the Iranian regime after this blow. And so, the Iranian leaders could not hide their fear about any consequences about any counterattack and revenge.
The Setareh Sobh newspaper affiliated with Rouhani expressed concern about the catastrophic consequences of facing the United States and in a piece entitled “Where Does the US-Iran Confrontation Lead?” warned that the reaction to Qassim Soleimani’s demise “should be in the form of a cost-benefit formula, and the attraction of benefit and pushing loss from the Iranian people should be considered.”
This paper further regretted the loss to the regime’s negotiating table and wrote: “The analysis of the behavior and movements of the White House, the Treasury, the Pentagon, Congress and … reflects the fact that this country
overpassed the negotiation phase, dialogue, and dealing with Iran, and entered the phase of the conflict with the Islamic Republic, a strategy that is dangerous and could lead to war.” (Setareh Sobh, 4 January)
In an article titled “Triggering War in the Middle East”, Jahan Sanat newspaper blamed Khamenei’s faction on igniting a war and eventually made this faction responsible for the death of Soleimani: “Some people in their reductionist approach on the policy and their wishful evaluations, imagine that Trump will never do that, and it’s just a bluff …
So, he reacted quickly to what happened at the embassy in Baghdad and revived the memory of the US embassy capture in Iran after the Islamic Revolution. Trump has reacted very fast… It is showing the beginning of a new and very dangerous season in the Middle East which was predictable. It can be said that what has already been done is to pull the trigger for war in the Middle East that can have different contexts and different consequences for everyone.” (Jahan Sanat, 4 January)
It is clear that the authors of both factions speak about their bad luck because of the consequences, otherwise, there is no reason to worry about the “trigger pull”.
But what is far more dangerous for the regime than any other issue is the hostility of the Iranian people toward this regime and the danger of a further popular uprising.