Former Hizbullah MP Nawaf Mousawi said in a January 3, 2023 show on Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon) that there was nothing "heroic" about the January 2020 U.S. assassination of IRGC Qods Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani, since it was known when his plane would land and who is on board. In contrast, he said that an example of "real heroism" was an operation he claimed was carried out in the same month by Soleimani's "disciples" during which a CIA plane carrying top CIA officials, including Iran Mission Center commander Michael D'andrea, was "downed" (false reports about such an attack were circulated by Russian and Iranian news outlets in January 2020 – in truth, D'andrea retired from the CIA in 2021). Mousawi also said that Soleimani had played a "significant" role in the Afghan resistance to the U.S. "occupation". For more about Nawaf Mousawi, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 1709.
Nawaf Mousawi: "These methods – which are usually called 'terrorist methods' – of beheadings or carrying out assassinations in such a cowardly way... Why is it such a big accomplishment [to kill Soleimani who came on] a plane, and you know when it was scheduled to land and who was on board, and then you use this method? There is nothing heroic about this.
"Real heroism is when, for example, you manage to down a CIA plane with ten senior CIA officials on board, including Hajj Michael D'andrea.
"On the night of Hajj Qasem [Soleimani's] martyrdom, that plane was downed in Afghanistan by Hajj Qasem's disciples.
"Perhaps [Nasrallah] did not have enough time to mention in his speech the significant role played by Hajj Qasem in launching the Afghan resistance to the American occupation, but this is well-known. Hajj Qasem did not neglect a single place from where he could fight the American occupation and aggression. This is the framework of how he saw the mission of the Qods Force. Without American support, the Zionist entity cannot last a single day.
"When the U.S. stops its support to the Zionist entity, it will not last even a single hour in the region."