IRGC-Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Soleimani
“Iran is hoping you look the other way,” Secretary of State John Kerry bluntly told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. “Our inaction would surely give them a permission slip for them to at least misinterpret our intention if not to put it to the test.” [Source: ABC News]
"The aim of the United States is not to protect human rights ... but to destroy the front of resistance [against Zionism]," Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani was quoted as saying. "We will support Syria to the end," he added in a speech to the Assembly of Experts, the body that supervises the work of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. [Source: Reuters]SECSTATE Kerry believes the Iranians will "get the message" with a U.S.-led strike on Syria. There are those inside Iran that regard IRGC-QF Commander Maj. Gen. Soleimani as the hero of what we Americans term "The Iraq War." Where more moderate elements of Iran's dynamic and complex political environment are hoping for improved relations with the West, ushered in with the Rouhani administration, others including the IRGC-QF Commander are of the position that the United States has no genuine desire for improving relations and that attempts at engagement represent a counter-productive, waste of time. Seen in this light, Kerry's "message" to the Iranians is in reality bolstering the case put forward by IRGC-QF and political elements of a similar persuasion, while undercutting Iran's political moderates.
For his part, Iran's foreign minister has recently stated the potential outreach of the Rouhani administration toward the West could very well be derailed even before being pursued in earnest, by those he terms as "extremists" and "war interest groups" within the American political landscape.