Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Suleimani were named as the top men in the past Iranian year (which ended on March 20), FNA reported.
In an online poll conducted by Tabnak news website, Zarif garnered more than 50 percent of the votes and was followed by commander of General Suleimani, who secured over 28 percent of the votes.
Zarif in addition to his leadership of the country’s diplomatic efforts to promote relations with other countries has also headed the Iranian team of negotiators in talks with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany).
He has well defended the country’s right of using peaceful nuclear program.
Also, General Suleimani has been praised by different classes of the Iranian society for his brave commandership of the IRGC’s Quds Force and fighting terrorist groups in the regional states.
The Iranian legislators in a statement issued in January lauded Major General Qassem Suleimani for his effective efforts in pushing back the threat of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
“We appreciate the powerful, committed and mighty IRGC Quds forces and their smart, powerful and hero Commander Major General Suleimani,” the statement said.
“We also appreciate the Quds Force’s determining role as the mighty arm of the Islamic Revolution and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in defending the Muslim nations and regional security and also in conducting powerful and successful campaign against the terrorist groups, specially the criminal and evil ISIL terrorist group which is a hireling of the world arrogance and Zionism,” it added.
In a similar letter to General Suleimani in December, Iranian university professors appreciated him for his successful and positive role in the regional developments and against the hegemonic policies of the western governments in the region.
“In the current sensitive conditions that the hegemonic US government seeks to make geopolitical changes and do some new engineering in the region and the Muslim world and dreams of creating a larger Middle-East in the old Asian continent to safeguard its political-economic interests and provide long-term security for the illegitimate Zionist regime… the IRGC Quds Force has been the main obstacle to the materialization of those hegemonic geopolitical objectives,” the letter said.
The Iranian university professors praised Major General Suleimani for his and his colleagues’ non-stop efforts in the region, reminding that the anger felt by the US, its western allies and the regional reactionary governments at his presence and efforts vindicate the efficiency and efficacy of his actions.
In relevant remarks early November, senior military officials in Baghdad said Major General Suleimani planned the liberating operations of Jurf al-Sakher from the ISIL terrorist group’s occupation some three months earlier.
After the ISIL fled from the embattled town of Jurf al-Sakher late October, the Iraqi military gained a victory against the extremist group, with state television showing tanks and Humvees parading through the town and soldiers touring government buildings that had been occupied by the militants since August.
Photos soon emerged on independent Iraqi news websites revealing presence of the powerful Iranian general Suleimani, whose name has become synonymous with the victories of Iraqi ground forces, AP said in a report.
An Iraqi militia commander, who agreed only to be identified by his nickname, Abu Zeinab, said Suleimani began planning the Jurf al-Sakher operation three months ago.
Militia commanders told the AP that General Soleimani was on the front lines in Jurf al-Sakher, providing weapons training to some 7,000 troops and militia fighters, and coordinating with military commanders ahead of the operation.
Some other militia commanders, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media, describe Suleimani as “fearless” — one pointing out that the Iranian general never wears a flak jacket, even on the front lines.
“Suleimani has taught us that death is the beginning of life, not the end of life,” one militia commander said.