By Drago Bosnic and Joaquin Flores
To Athens and Sparta, Xerxes sent no heralds to demand earth, and this he did for the following reason. When Darius had previously sent men with this same purpose, those who made the request were cast at the one city into the Pit and at the other into a well, and told to obtain their earth and water for the king from there.
— Herodotos 7.133.1
General Soleimani was acting under diplomatic authority and it bodes poorly for the U.S’ ability to engage in diplomacy in the region for years to come. With a single act, the U.S violated not only standing and unspoken rules in place for countless centuries, but specific provisions in, for example, Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
This is not to say that such timeless rules have not been broken, but that in killing a diplomat one has declared war on the diplomat’s homeland.
The plot to assassinate Qassem Soleimani (now Shaheed Soleimani) – a man long described by Khamenei himself as a ‘living martyr’ – was born, we are informed, from US and Israeli intelligence.
The American intelligence-controlled rag, The New York Times publicly revealed the plot in subtle terms, on January 2nd, as we will discuss below.
Soleimani was involved in multi-lateral talks regarding pending legislation in Iraq involving Iraq’s intention to end U.S military presence, and demilitarize its embassy. Indeed, despite Soleimani’s assassination – and indeed perhaps propelled to certain success because of it – such legislation advanced to the next process of becoming law in Iraq earlier today.
Worse still, Soleimani’s diplomatic mission was being carried out as a result of a request made by the Trump administration to the Iraqi government. These are among the reasons that the US knew Soleimani’s precise location at the specific time – and why the US in one fell swoop, lost all remaining diplomatic credibility.
Despite the relatively misleading use of the word ’embassy’, the US had been using this and the ‘green zone’ around it as an unwelcome military base in the heart of Baghdad. Numerous credible reports detailed that ISIS/Al Qaeda operatives and leaders even had use of the green zone. A decade ago, ISIS-type death squads would leave from the green zone at night to execute social, religious, and political leaders in Iraq opposed to the US occupation.
Soleimani flew on a regular flight and was accompanied by nine men, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force. They traveled in three unarmed vehicles on a public road.
Soleimani was carrying a diplomatic message and this elevates him to the level of a diplomatic envoy. This compounds and greatly exacerbates not only the criminality of his assassination, but its consequences.
The Americans came to know of Soleimani’s exact whereabouts due to the public nature of his flight, combined with aerial intelligence – perhaps from a drone launched directly from the green zone itself.
But what’s more – the NYT revealed to readers just a day before, what the US plan was.
This was revealed in an analysis written by Steven Simon. At a glance, his NYT article about hypersonic missiles is completely unrelated to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, however, when you get to the 11th paragraph, the content strikes like lighting:
Moreover, hypersonics are a weaponized moral hazard for states with a taste for intervention, because they erase barriers to picking fights. Is an adversary building something that might be a weapons factory? Is there an individual in an unfriendly country who cannot be apprehended? What if the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Suleimani, visits Baghdad for a meeting and you know the address? The temptations to use hypersonic missiles will be many.
Note that the article was written on January 2, a full day before General Qassem Suleimani was killed by a US drone strike.
The article was written on January 2, 2020
The 11th paragraph, which revealed the US plan to assassinate the late Iranian General