Hezbollah unveils statue of slain Iranian commander Soleimani

Hezbollah unveils statue of slain Iranian commander Soleimani at Lebanon-Israel border
2 min read
16 February, 2020
Statue or cardboard cutout? Lebanon's Hezbollah have unveiled a monument dedicated to slain Iranian Quds Force commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
The 'statue' was unveiled by Hezbollah in the town of Maroun al-Ras [Screenshot]
Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group unveiled a statue on slain Iranian commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani in southern Lebanon on Saturday.

The statue, which some contend is actually a cardboard cutout, depicts the deceased Quds Force commander pointing towards Israel.

Hundreds looked on as the statue was unveiled in the town of Maroun al-Ras, cheering as a red cloth which covered it was pulled down. Footage of the ceremony was shown on Iranian state media, including by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

The statue is understood to symbolise Hezbollah and Iran's stated intention of liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation.

While some Lebanese celebrated the footage of the unveiling on social media, for others it was a stark reminder of Iran's influence in the country through Hezbollah.

Just weeks before Soleimani's killing in a US drone strike in Iraq last month, a special advisor to the commander of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened to raze Tel Aviv to the ground from Lebanon, angering officials in Beirut.

Iranian involvement in the affairs of Middle Eastern states, including Lebanon and Iraq, have come under the spotlight, with many some calling for Tehran to end its alleged interference.

'Miscalculation'

On Friday, Iran's foreign minister said the US killing of Soleimani was a miscalculation that has had the effect of bolstering support in Iraq for the removal of American troops, a longtime goal of Tehran.

Speaking to a group of reporters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said "the US miscalculated," noting that since the killing, thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets to protest against the presence of foreign troops in the country.

Read also: Israeli intel helped the US assassinate Soleimani: report

"The martyr Soleimani is much more effective than General Soleimani," Zarif said. "We are seeing that in terms of demonstrations that are taking place in Iraq against the US presence."

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