Ali Reza Assadzadeh
Zeinab Soleimani is the 28 year old daughter of the well-known international terrorist, Ghasem Soleimani. The 62 year old Soleimani had three sons and two daughters. Zeinab Soleimani is the youngest daughter. Zeinab only appeared once on stage with the daughter of Lebanese Imad Mughniyeh in a resistance movie festival in 2016 during the past years although her father recently was more of a social media influencer than a commander.
During the Iran-Iraq war the regime quickly learned how to use children of the so called “Martyrs” to gain solidarity, recruit new soldiers, and silent any opposition voices. The Iranian supreme leader has always highlighted the importance of familiarizing the younger generation with the martyrs and prominent personalities of the war against enemies. Zeinab’s newfound fame can be explained by this practice.
Before Soleimani, families of Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, an IRGC Aerospace officer, Ahmad Kazemi an Iran–Iraq war IRGC commander, Mohsen Hojaji an IRGC officer who died in Syria and even families of proxies like the Lebanese Imad Mughniyeh, just to name a few, were used by Iranian media to recruit and unite their forces. Still none of them have been close to Ghasem Soleimani in military rank or publicity.
Immediately after Ghasem Soleimani’s elimination, his family was in the spotlight and Zainab’s first media appearance was at Al-Manar TV, a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah.
Sitting with a picture of Hassan Nasrollah on her side, she called him her uncle and invited all resistance groups in the region to take Haj Ghasem’s revenge.
On Ghasem Soleimani’s funeral, she was chosen to be the speaker on behalf of the Soleimani family.
Zeinab made the headlines in western media as she warned of a “dark day” for the US, and called President Trump “crazy”. She also threatened the families of the American soldiers and said that they will spend their days waiting for the death of their children.
The most significant part of her funeral speech though that western media missed was when Zeinab called on Quds Force Arab proxies”Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah (Lebanon), Ismail Haniyeh (Palestine), Ziyad al-Nakhalah (Palestine), Bashar al-Assad (Syria), Abu Hassan (Hadi) Al-Amari (Iraq) and Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi (Yemen)” to take her father’s revenge.
On Friday January10, 2020, on the first Jumma Prayer after Soleimani’s death, Zeinab was again chosen as the speaker prior to the prayer in the city of Kerman where Soleimani was born and buried.
She made a part of her speech partially in Arabic where she thanked the people who loved her father, not only inside Iran but all around the Islamic world. Having an automated machine gun on her side, she said in Arabic “on behalf of my family and myself, I would like to thank each and every soldier and commander in the Axis or Resistance who will not close their eyes until they take the revenge of my father”. She then called on the “Great Satan America and Israel” saying “my father left thousands of Soleimanis behind him.”
Zeinab recently flew over to Lebanon to address Hezbollah’s cultural events in the memory of her father.
She also had a private meeting with Hassan Nasrallah. Not much was published about the meeting except a short video clip where Nassrallah speaks about how God blessed him with martyrdom and Jihad.
It is now becoming clear that she has been a frequent traveler to Lebanon as she speaks almost fluent Arabic with Lebanese accent.
Among ordinary Iranians she quickly became the symbol of evil just like her father was. Many started making jokes or criticizing her three brothers for not being as outspoken as their younger sister.
Zeinab is the name of Imam Hussein ibn Ali’s older sister who stood up against Yazid after his Martyrdom on the day of “Ashura” in Kerbala. The name Zeinab reminds Shiite Muslims of the lady who confronted the tyrants when the Imam was martyred.
To have a front face for the “Severe Revenge” that Khamenei called for is key for the Iranian regime in the social media area. During recent years the Iranian youth have significantly distanced themselves from the regime and the ideology of martyrdom and revenge that it established in 1979 therefore a larger side of the focus has been on Arabic speaking proxies overseas. Same applies to IRGC’s military capacity. The IRGC is counting more on the threat and harm the Quds Force proxies can do than the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. This gives Zeinab a golden opportunity to gain publicity and ask Iranian proxies like Hassan Nasrullah to take her father’s revenge.