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Eyes take on the colors of the setting sun on a wintry day. Their redness holds back tears that well up at the memory of the fallen friend whose assassination has yet to be avenged.
There is heartfelt affection in Iran for the man whose over 25 years of joint struggle earned him the confidence of the “Imam Leader” and the respect of Iran’s generals and military.
A strong desire to share stories about the legendary commander is tempered by fear of inadvertently revealing secrets and putting lives in danger. Yet the Iranian officials who got to know Imad Mughniyeh believe he is owed his due in this world, just as they hope he is rewarded in the next.
What Mughniyeh meant to Iran was perhaps summed up in a small way at an officially-sponsored youth conference in Tehran earlier this month. The delegates later met with Khamenei at a gathering attended by a host of high state officials.
They included the commander of the al-Quds Brigade, the famous General Qasem Soleimani. The entire chamber stirred as he made his entrance, prompting a senior official to stand up and introduce him with a flourish: “This is Iran’s Imad Mughniyeh.”