IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, Designated By U.S. Treasury Dept., Is Active On Instagram; Posts Include Image Of White House Exploding

August 16, 2018

Gen. Qassem Soleimani,[1] who since 1998 has commanded Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) extra-territorial special forces unit, the Qods Force, was designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in October 2011 for connection to a plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.[2] Earlier, in May 2011, he was also designated under Executive Order 13572, which focuses on human rights abuses in Syria, for his role as IRGC-QF commander,[3] and in July 2005 under E.O. 13382 for his relationship to the IRGC.[4]

In a July 26, 2018 speech, Gen. Soleimani responded to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump directed at Iranian President Hassan Rohani, stating that President Trump has the rhetoric of man in a casino or a bar, compared him to a gambler, and warned the U.S. not to threaten Iran. Soleimani declared: “Know that we are near you, in places that don’t come to your mind. We are near you in places that you can’t even imagine. We are a nation of martyrdom… You know that a war would mean the loss of all your capabilities. You may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine its end.”[5]

Instagram’s Terms and Conditions include a list of Community Guidelines, which state: “Instagram is not a place to support or praise terrorism, organized crime, or hate groups… We can remove any content or information you share on the Service if we believe that it violates these Terms of Use, our policies (including our Instagram Community Guidelines), or we are permitted or required to do so by law.”[6]

Soleimani’s Instagram Account Features Image Of White House Exploding

Soleimani’s Instagram handle is @sardar_haj_ghasemsoleimani; he first posted on July 28, 2016. At the time of this writing, he had 710 posts and 69,100 followers, and is following 30 accounts. His account bio reads “Major General in Iranian Army, IRGC and commander of Qods Force since 1998,” and links to his Telegram account, T.me/sardar_haj_ghasem.

On July 28, 2018, Soleimani posted a graphic of himself using a walkie-talkie in front of the White House as it explodes. Text on the photo reads: “We will crush the USA under our feet.” Soleimani’s caption on the photo reiterates: “We will crush America under our feet” and asks readers to follow the account’s Telegram channel.

Post Of Quote From Speech: “Mr. Trump… You Know How Powerful We Are In Asymmetrical Warfare”

On July 30, 2018, Soleimani posted a photo of himself giving a speech. The image includes a quote from Soleimani’s July 26 speech: “Mr. Trump, the Gambler! Don’t threaten our lives! You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region. You know how powerful we are in asymmetrical warfare.”

Many of Soleimani’s posts show him with leading Iranian religious and military figures and other figures from Iran and Hizbullah. For example, on July 18, 2018, Soleimani posted a photo of himself with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, with a caption urging readers to leave positive feedback in English so that Instagram would not shut down his account.

On May 27, 2018, Soleimani posted a photo of himself with Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This photo appears to be less recent than many of the others on Soleimani’s account.

Video Of Iranians Chanting “Death To America”

Some of the posts include videos. In the video below, posted June 19, 2017, Iranians chant “Death to Americ

a.” Soleimani’s caption on the post reads: “This is IRAN. The first military power of the region” and again promotes the account’s Telegram channel.

Endnotes:

[1] For more information on Soleimani’s recent activity, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1410, The U.S.-Iran Confrontation – Possible Developments In Advance Of The November Sanctions, August 8, 2018;  MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7597, Calls In Saudi Arabia For Firm Measures Against Iran’s Attempts To Disrupt Shipping In Bab El-Mandeb, July 31, 2018; MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1396, Iranian Reactions To The Strategic Change In The U.S.’s Iran Policy And To Israel’s Activity To Eliminate The Iranian Threat To It From Syria, May 15, 2018.

[2] Treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/pages/tg1320.aspx, October 11, 2011.

[3] Treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1181.aspx, May 18, 2011.

[4] Treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Documents/whwmdeo.pdf, July 1, 2005.

[5] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7595, IRGC Qods Force Commander Qasem Soleimani: Trump’s Rhetoric Is That Of A Casino; You May Start The War, But We Will Determine Its End; We Are Near You In Places That You Can’t Even Imagine, We Are A Nation Of Martyrdom, July 30, 2018.

[6] Help.instagram.com, accessed August 8, 2018.