January 16, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8498

Editor Of Saudi Daily: Eliminating Soleimani Is Not Enough; Iran's Terror Network Spans Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon And Yemen

January 16, 2020
Iran, Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 8498

The assassination of IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. met with numerous reactions in the Saudi press that expressed satisfaction at the severe blow dealt to the Iranian leadership, and also at the initiative taken by the U.S. after a long period in which it avoided using military force against Iran, including after the mid-September attack on the Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Conspicuous among these reactions was a January 10, 2020 article by Khalid Al-Malik, chief editor of the Al-Jazirah daily. He wrote that the elimination of Soleimani was not enough, because "the Iranian terror network is wide and is not based on any one single terrorist." Al-Malik explained that Iran has many other agents in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and that if no action is taken against them it will continue its destructive policy. He also directed criticism at the U.S., noting that it is now paying the price for letting Iran take over Iraq and over its decision-making.

The following are excerpts from Al-Malik's article: [1]   


Khalid Al-Malik (source:

"Assuming that the U.S. forces in Iraq have done anything that counts in their favor since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime and the disappearance of the Ba'th party, then one of these things is the elimination of the ISIS terror organization. [But] one of the things that counts against them is that they covered and continue to cover for the Iranian influence [in Iraq], facilitated Iran's takeover of Iraq's decision-making, and disregarded its employment in Iraq of [organizations] modeled on terror groups, such as the Popular Mobilization Forces [PMF], Asaib Ahl Al-Haqq and others. [The U.S.] even encouraged the relations that most of [Iraq's] Shi'ite parties hold with [Iran], in a manner that serves the interests of the Ayatollah regime, not of the Iraqi people.

"Just as the liberation of Iraq from the Saddam Hussein regime was achieved by the U.S. forces – which is a point in their favor – the U.S. was also the one who handed Iraq to Iran, and this is a point against it. For [the U.S.] drafted an [Iraqi] constitution that places the decision-making and the formulation of Iraqi policy exclusively in the hands of Shi'ite parties that are identified, in terms of their views and operation methods, with the dictates of Iranian authorities and of [Iran's] Rule of the Jurisprudent regime...

"Now the U.S. and its Western allies are paying the price for the fatal mistakes they made, which were to the detriment of  Iraq and its people. [These mistakes] caused the Iraqi people to mourn their country... in light of the situation that was ultimately created by the U.S. in collaboration with Iran's agents in Iraq [and] in cooperation and collaboration with Iran [itself]. Iraq has not tasted freedom, security or peace since the elimination of the Saddam Hussein regime and until this very day.

"The U.S.'s killing of the criminal Qassem Soleimani was a blatant act of heroism, and a point in favor of U.S. President Trump. But it is not sufficient to redress the mistakes that the U.S. made in Iraq. There are more Qassem Soleimanis in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and if they are not taken care of in way that ensures the security and stability of these countries and of the other countries of the region and the world, Iran's behavior will not change. The killing of Soleimani will not end the threat posed by Iran to the countries of the world, for Iran's terror network is wide and is not based on any one terrorist, nor are its agents confined to a single country.

"The killing of Qassem Soleimani is a clear achievement and a point in favor of President Trump and the U.S. administration, but it is not enough. The region now faces rounds of Iranian terrorism that will be [even] more numerous and varied. The Iranians [themselves] are making explicit threats to this effect, and are placing this at the top of their agenda as part of exacting revenge for the killing of the leader of evil, the criminal Qassem Soleimani. And what about Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and Iran's other proxies in various Gulf states and [other] Arab and Islamic countries?..."


[1] Al-Jazirah (Saudi Arabia), January 10, 2020.

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