- The death will double the motivation of Iran's resistance against the United States and Israel, the Ayatollah said in a statement issued by the nation's state television.
- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country will now be more determined to resist the US and carry out a revenge.
- Reacting to the killing in a series of tweets, US President Donald Trump opined that the general ought to have been killed many years ago.
Iran has vowed that it would carry out a “severe retaliation,” after a US airstrike in Baghdad on Friday killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force and architect of the growing military influence in the Middle East. Soleimani was a general considered to be Iran’s second most powerful figure, after only the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In a statement, he said revenge awaits the “criminals” who killed Soleimani.
The death will double the motivation of Iran’s resistance against the United States and Israel, the Ayatollah said in a statement issued by the nation’s state television. “His departure to God does not end his path or his mission,” the statement said, “but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
The Supreme leader has also declared three days of national mourning in Iran following the killing of the general. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country will now be more determined to resist the US and carry out a revenge. “Soleimani’s martyrdom will make Iran more decisive to resist America’s expansionism and to defend our Islamic values. With no doubt, Iran and other freedom-seeking countries in the region will take his revenge,” he said. Former Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezaei promised “vigorous revenge on America” for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.
The US night attack, ordered by President Donald Trump, marked a dramatic escalation in a Middle East dispute between Iran and the United States and its allies, notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iraqi chief militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Soleimani’s advisor, was also killed in the attack. Iran is embroiled in a protracted conflict with the United States, which escalated last week with an attack on the US embassy in Iraq by pro-Iranian militias following a US air raid on Muhandis-founded Kataib Hezbollah militia.
The Pentagon said the US military “took decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani,” and that the attack was ordered by Trump to disrupt plans for future Iranian attack. Reacting to the killing in a series of tweets, US President Donald Trump opined that the general ought to have been killed many years ago.
“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more . . . but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of protesters killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!”