An Arab news report claimed that in 2015, Israel was “on the verge” of killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani but President Barack Obama’s administration leaked details of the plans to Iran.
An account of the leak was published in Haaretz in 2018. Haaretz cited a January 1, 2018 report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida that said that Israel was “on the verge” of assassinating Soleimani three years ago, near Damascus, but the United States warned the Iranian leadership of the plan, revealing that Israel was closely tracking the Iranian general. The incident, the report said, “sparked a sharp disagreement between the Israeli and American security and intelligence apparatuses regarding the issue.”
According to Al Jarida, this policy was overturned by the Trump administration who gave Israel the green light to move forward on plans to kill the terrorist general. Though an Israeli operation targeting Soleimani never materialized, his fate was finally sealed (albeit four years delayed) on Friday when a U.S. drone strike killed him.
The Obama administration also removed economic sanctions from Iran as part of The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, signed in 2015. As part of the deal, the U.S. transferred large sums of money. Estimates vary as to how much money Iran received in the deal, ranging from $400 million to $150 billion with a $1.8 billion cash payout. Very little of that money went to improving the lot of the Iranian people. The bulk went into funding Iran’s $20 billion military and its expansionist agenda.
Soleimani became head of the Quds Force in 1998 and was responsible for carrying out operations beyond Iran’s borders. Soleimani was an ally of Syrian despot President Bashar al Assad and the Houthis in Yemen. A report by the State Department earlier this year concluded Iranian forces were responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were carried out under Soleimani’s personal direction.
The Pentagon said that Soleimani was planning attacks on American diplomats and soldiers in Iraq when he was killed on Friday.