This Is Iran's Most Popular General

Gen. Soleimani in Iraq’s Salahuddin province in 2015. Photo: REUTERS

Wall Street Journal: Iran General’s Profile Rises as Tehran Flexes Mideast Muscle

U.S. officials consider commander a terrorist supporter; many Iranians see a defense against foreign aggression

U.S. officials consider the commander of an elite Iranian military unit a terrorist supporter and the man ultimately responsible for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and their Middle East allies.

But many Iranians view Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the face of Tehran’s growing regional clout, as their best defense against foreign aggression.

Gen. Soleimani’s public profile is soaring just as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s popularity sags. In a recent poll from the University of Maryland, 64.7% of Iranians had a “very favorable” view of Gen. Soleimani, compared with 23.5% for Mr. Rouhani, suggesting that the main architect of Iran’s wars in the Middle East is the most popular official in the country.

That is a sign of support for Shiite Iran’s aggressive push for influence in the Middle East in the wake of recent protests over the country’s struggling economy, strict social norms and disappointing returns from the easing of sanctions under the 2015 nuclear deal that Mr. Rouhani hailed.

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WNU Editor: He has publicly voiced no compromise and no talks with any of the Syrian rebel groups in Syria. WNU has been following his career since the beginning (click here to see past posts), and he is as hard-core as you can get in Iran.

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