Iran’s ‘Supermani’: fabled general, Internet sensation

The Los Angeles Times reports: In one image he calmly rubs elbows with Iran’s top leaders. In another, he bestows an avuncular gaze on a gaggle of militia fighters.

No matter where he appears, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds force, remains the stuff of U.S. policymakers’ nightmares: a murky yet seemingly ubiquitous figure with a penchant for turning up in Middle Eastern trouble spots and proxy wars — often at several battlegrounds simultaneously, it would seem, judging by his outsized and at times fictitious presence on the Web and in breathless international press reports.

“Supermani” is the handle one wag has bestowed upon Tehran’s inscrutable point man.

His mission? Thwarting the goals of Washington and its allies at every turn, while adding to the revolutionary glory of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The actual effectiveness of Tehran’s fabled emissary may be open to question. But in cyberspace, Suleimani — with a graying beard, steady mien and passing resemblance to “The Most Interesting Man in the World” of Dos Equis fame — has emerged as a kind of Iranian master manipulator, schemer and super-spy. His presence on any battlefield, according the ever-expanding if often apocryphal legend, is tantamount to victory for fighters fortunate to bask in his presence. [Continue reading…]

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