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German Reporter Apologizes For Saying ‘All Iranians Worship Soleimani’


The Istanbul-based correspondent for the German public TV station ARD sparked anger over his report that claimed all Iranians worship IRGC’s late Qasem Soleimani.

“Every Iranian, whether opposition or not, worships him as a hero, “Markus Rosch told millions of viewers on Wednesday watching the popular ARD Tagesschau news program. Rosch’s comment about a man accused of fomenting bloodshed in the Middle East triggered widespread outrage on social media, prompting Rosch to walk back his statement.

Many Iranians view Soleimani as a destructive figure, labeling him a master terrorist, echoing the terminology used by the United States. Some critics argue that his primary focus was on developing Iran’s regional proxy networks rather than addressing domestic concerns.

Rosch broadcasted his report following the terror attack at Soleimani’s gravesite in Iran this week.

Bomb explosions may have killed as many as 94 people and there remain conflicting reports about the perpetrators behind the mass murder in the city of Kerman.

Sheina Vojoudi, who fled the Islamic Republic of Iran to Germany to escape persecution, told Iran International “Statements like this disrespect thousands of innocent Iranian lives taken away by Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was responsible for the mass killing of the Iranian protesters in Bloody November 2019. One of the IRGC’s high ranking commanders confirmed Soleimani’s key role also in suppressing the protests in 1999 and 2009 with violence and thousands of Iranians were murdered, tens of thousands were arrested and tortured in the Islamic Republic’s prisons. “

Germany’s largest mass circulation paper, Bild, reported “The outrage is now having an impact on ARD correspondent Markus Rosch.” Bild wrote that Rosch wrote on X, “I apologize for this mistake. Soleimani is only worshiped as a hero by the Islamic Republic regime and its supporters.” It is unclear if ARD disciplined Rosch for his journalistic misconduct.

After rising anger on X, ARD published a correction on its website about Rosch’s false information.

Vojoudi, an associate fellow for the Gold Institute for International Strategy, said about the myth that the US and EU-designated terrorist, Soleimani, was beloved by Iranians. “This is the Islamic Republic’s propaganda and shockingly the western media help the Islamic regime to spread it. The Iranian people are the main victims of the Islamic Republic’s terrorism.”

She added “Soleimani was in competition with Ali Khamenei to gain the first place in killing the Iranian people and spreading terrorism in the whole region.”

Vojoudi went on to say that “The regime still kills Iranians in his name and recently the regime’s supporters started to identify the Iranian students who expressed their happiness on Soleimani’s death anniversary and started a campaign to share the identity, address and the name of the universities of the these students and promised them to arrest and torture them in prison.”

Behrouz Asadi, the head of the Democratic Forum of Iranians in Mainz, Germany also expressed shock about the ARD broadcast. He told Iran International, “It is shameful to call him a hero of the people.”

Soleimani “belongs to a regime that only has terror, arrest, torture and executions on its record. He belonged to the IRGC terrorist organization and is not a representative of the Iranian people,” said Asadi, an energetic campaigner against the Islamic Republic.

He added, “The regime tries to present him as a hero in the sense of a totalitarian regime. The majority of the people have a clear stance against him and the regime. He was instrumental in maintaining the regime. The people stood up several times for freedom and democracy and human rights. He and his perpetrators tried to nip every cry for democracy in the bud.”

Asadi said Soleimani “set up mercenaries abroad for terror. He was involved in Assad’s stability through wars against the Syrian people. The Iranian people are fighting for peace and freedom.”