News and Commentary

General Replacing Soleimani Was Named Terrorist Entity By Obama Administration, Bragged U.S. Troops Have Suffered More Losses Than Iran
A handout photo shows Ismail Qaani after he has been appointed as commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Forces after a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport killed Qasem Soleimani, on January 3, 2020 in Tehran, Iran.
Photo by Iranian Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Brigadier Gen. Esmail Ghani, 62, the man replacing Qassem Soleimani as leader of the Quds force, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, has bragged of his country’s supposed advantage over the united States, boasting that U.S. troops have “suffered more losses from us than we have suffered losses from them,” as Fox News reports.

Reuters noted, “Ghaani was quoted by Iranian media as saying in 2017 that U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘threats against Iran will damage America … We have buried many … like Trump and know how to fight against America.’

According to the Tasnim News Agency, in October 2017 Ghani “slammed recent comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials against the Islamic Republic and said, ‘Any nonsense they say will be to their detriment.’” He also allegedly stated, “Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution we have never intended to wage a war against any country, but the global arrogance (the US) and its stooges have always sought for a battle. We do not welcome wars but if anyone invades our country, he will learn a lesson that would no longer even think of aggression (against Iran).”

The Middle East Institute reported in July 2017 that Ghani stated, “America has suffered more losses from us than we have suffered losses from them.”

Ghani had been Soleimani’s deputy commander since 1997; in 2012, the Obama Treasury Department named him a terrorist entity, writing on March 27, 2012:

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of the Iranian cargo airline, Yas Air; Behineh Trading; three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officials; and one Nigerian shipping agent – all pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, the IRGC-QF, a designated terrorist entity.he airline, the trading company and the IRGC-QF officials were involved, respectively, in shipments of weapons to the Levant and Africa, further demonstrating Iran’s determination to evade international sanctions and export violence and instability throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Based in Tehran, Yas Air is an Iranian cargo airline that acts for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF to transport illicit cargo – including weapons – to Iran’s clients in the Levant. Yas Air has moved IRGC-QF personnel and weapons under the cover of humanitarian aid.  In March 2011, IRGC-QF officials oversaw and authorized actions taken by Yas Air that involved a series of Yas Air flights carrying weapons destined for Syria and worked with Hizballah and Syrian officials to ensure passage of this illicit cargo.

A Turkish inspection of one of the Yas Air flights bound for Syria – which listed “auto spare parts” on its cargo manifest – found weapons including Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, nearly 8,000 rounds of ammunition, and an assortment of mortar shells.

Behineh Trading, the shipping company, and the Nigerian agent designated today were involved in a weapons shipment seized in Nigeria in late October 2010.  This weapons shipment – orchestrated by the IRGC-QF and intended for The Gambia – is part of a larger pattern of Iranian lethal aid shipments to clients in Africa and around the world.

This IRGC-QF weapons shipment – hidden among construction materials – contained grenades, rockets, mortars, and ammunition. While Iran publically downplays Iranian government involvement in the lethal aid shipment, the highest levels of the IRGC-QF were involved.

Esmail Ghani serves as the Deputy Commander of the IRGC-QF. Ghani’s authority covers IRGC-QF financial disbursements to IRGC-QF elements, including elements in Africa, as well as to various terrorist groups, including Hizballah. As Deputy Commander, Ghani had financial oversight of the IRGC-QF weapons shipment that was intended for The Gambia.