The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, Commander Qasem Soleimani, issued a rare public statement regarding the war in Gaza and his support for Palestinians fighting against Israeli forces. The dramatic, somewhat poetic message was originally picked up by Arabic-language TV station Al Mayadeen. Later, many Iranian news agencies and websites carried parts or the entire written message.
The letter, which reflects a personal and emotional commitment to Palestine that Soleimani has not expressed before, demonstrates the growing attention paid to the war in Gaza by top Iranian officials, who have openly called for arming both Gaza and the West Bank.
“Palestine is a beating heart whose blood runs through the veins of mankind to present a new humanity at any time,” he wrote. “Palestine gifts welfare to the world. … It shakes the conscience and wakes nations from their deep sleep.
"Palestine in this period of time is between right and wrong, injustice and justice, the oppressor and the oppressed.”
Soleimani praised the “commanders who would not compromise and submit to pressure and not retreat against the conspiracies of submission.” He specifically praised the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades, the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, “the political leaders of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and all the resistance groups.”
“The painful scenes of Palestine," he wrote, "breaks our heart and covers our chests with grief, a grief that in its essence has a deep wrath, a wrath that at the appropriate time will be poured on the heads of the criminal Zionists.
"God damn who has wronged you and continues to do so.
"God damn any oppressor who defended and defends this criminal regime. They defended and do defend them, especially the leader of this global tyranny, America.
"God damn anyone who closes to the doors of relief to you and who is a partner to the Zionists in their crimes.
“The whole world should know: Disarming the resistance is wrong. It’s a delusion that will not be realized.
“Before the almighty God, we take an oath with the martyrs that we will remain bound to and not change, just like we are and have been in doing our religious duty in supporting the resistance. We emphasize that we continue to insist on the victory of the resistance … until the ground, the sky, the sea for the Zionists turns into hell. And the murderers and mercenaries should know that not even one moment will we stop our defense and support of the resistance and our backing of the Palestinian people, and we will have no doubt in this.”
In recent speeches, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, urged Muslims to help the people of Gaza, both in arms and humanitarian efforts. He also said that the West Bank should be armed in a similar fashion to Gaza. Iran has long been one of the main supporters of Hamas, though the two have had a difficult relationship amid the complexities of the Syrian civil war.