Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, showing a photo of late Major General Qassim Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, was widely praised by Iran’s state-censored media. The top brass of the IRGC even published an open letter expressing their gratitude to the president, which has been interpreted in Washington as an endorsement of Raisi succeeding Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as supreme leader and Iran’s head of state. While this interpretation may not be correct, the signatories included members of the informal collective leadership of the IRGC.
- September 23: Brigadier General Ismail Qaani, Quds Force commander, in a letter released by the Iranian Labour News Agency, thanked Raisi for his “brave statements explaining crimes of the United States against the right of innocent nations, in particular by condemning the assassination of the champion of the fight against terrorism by raising the photo of the martyr Suleimani.”
- September 24: ILNA released an open letter by Major General Hossein Salami, IRGC chief commander, who expressed his gratitude for Raisi’s address at the U.N. General Assembly.
- September 24: ILNA released an open letter by a group of present and former IRGC commanders praising Raisi’s address at the U.N. General Assembly.