“We must continue with the approach, method, strategy, and program with which we confronted the enemy since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, and surely victory will be with us. The enemies must know that all their plans and disbursements of money in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon did not gain anything from it but defeat, humiliation and failure,” said Brigadier General Mohammad Fallahzadeh, who was appointed as deputy commander of Iran’s Quds Force, succeeding Major General Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi.
During his interview with the Iranian news site Al-Ahed, Fallahzadeh affirmed that Tehran completed the march of former Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in an American strike in early January 2020 in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. He stressed the role of the Quds Force in fighting Iran’s enemies.
Who is he?
Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, also known as Abu Baqer, is a 59-year-old veteran of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He also held the position of deputy coordination affairs in the Quds Force, in addition to holding many other positions, including commanding the 33rd Al-Mahdi Division and the leadership of the 19th Fajr Division.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei approved Fallahzadeh’s appointment as deputy commander of the Quds Force based on a proposal from IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami to succeed Major General Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi, who died on April 19 after a heart attack at the age of 65.
According to the official media site of the Revolutionary Guards, Fallahzadeh occupied the IRGC’s leadership in various provinces, including Yazd, Isfahan and Fars, as well as the leadership of the Karbala headquarters for building an “economic institution”. He also served as governor of Yazd province from 2007 to 2013, in addition to his participation in the Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988).
Before Fallahzadeh assumed the duties of the coordination assistant to the commander of the Quds Force, he was considered the second most important Iranian leader in Syria after Qassem Soleimani, with whom he had a direct connection. Soleimani granted him wide powers in Syria in 2018, which made him one of the most important participants in the Astana conference, as well as being the main coordinator of the visits of Iranian delegations of soldiers, leaders and combat experts to Syria, informed Iranian sources revealed to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida.
When Fallahzadeh conducted an interview with the official Iranian news agency IRNA three days after the killing of Soleimani, he revealed that the latter had asked him to go to Aleppo airport to make sure that a plane carrying Soleimani could land at night, while Aleppo was besieged by Syrian factions.