“He’s a deep strategic thinker, but believes he should be a martyr” for Iran’s Islamic revolution, said Mowwafak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s former national security adviser, who has met Gen. Soleimani three times in Tehran in recent years.
Lightly bearded, 55 years old and often wearing a collarless business shirt or military uniform, Gen. Soleimani has a calm presence about him, according to people who have met him. American and British intelligence officials draw comparisons between the real-life Iranian general and the fictional Soviet spymaster Karla, of John le Carre’s Cold War novels. Global chess masters both, their goal is to blunt U.S. advances while aligning with Washington’s adversaries.[…]
His leadership of the Qods Force, the international arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, gives him a unique portfolio of duties, U.S. and Mideast officials say: intelligence operative, diplomat, foreign-policy strategist, battlefield commander and, allegedly, terrorism planner.