British-Iranian crooner pays tribute to Soleimani with English-language ballad

British-Iranian crooner pays tribute to Soleimani with English-language ballad
The "world has become a total mess" since the killing of Qasem Soleimani last year, singer Hassan Tavakoli opines in the song.
2 min read
02 January, 2021
Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike on January 3 last year [Getty]
An Iranian-British singer released an English-language ballad this week in honour of infamous commander Qasem Soleimani, state television reported.

The emotional pop song, titled "You Shine", comes ahead of the first anniversary of Soleimani's death.

The Iranian general, who headed the foreign operations branch of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad.

As head of the Quds Force, Soleimani oversaw Tehran's involvement in Syria, where Iranian forces are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

The general was also in charge of the Islamic republic's controversial backing and funding of militants in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

"Since you left, I must confess, the world has become a total mess," Hassan Tavakoli sings on the track.

A video clip for the song released on Aparat, an Iranian video-sharing service, accompanies the lyrics with images of strife across the world, including last year's Black Lives Matter protests in the US.

"Everywhere I look I see your face. You tried to make the world a better place," sings Tavakoli, who describes himself as an Iran-based "native British voice-over artist, narrator, singer, lyricist and photographer with a cause to speak and spread the truth through art". 

"Oppressors will never forget your frown. The oppressed will not forget the smile on your face," the lyrics continue.

"Oh, how you shine like a constellation in the sky! Oh, how you shine in the minds of nations that hold you high!" Tavakoli sings in the chorus.

The video clip goes on to show images of Soleimani on the battlefield, boasting of the commander extinguishing "the flames of terror far and wide" and helping "countries to reclaim their land that was occupied".

"People will remember you as a hero, though the powers that be will picture you as a foe," Tavakoli continues.

The clip was quickly ridiculed by opponents of Soleimani, some of whom accused the video of "appropriating" the Black Lives Matter movement's struggle for racial justice.

"This is sickening. This man was a murdering savage," said one Twitter user.

The song is the "equivalent of Justin Bieber praising Osama bin Laden", another user tweeted.

Iranian officials have pledged to avenge Soleimani's killing in the run-up to the first anniversary of his death on Sunday.

Esmail Ghaani, who replaced Soleimani as head of the Quds Force, warned that such retaliation could even come on US soil.

"From inside your own house, there may emerge someone who will retaliate for your crime," Ghaani said during a televised event on Friday.

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