As hundreds of thousands of Iranians thronged Tehran’s streets on Monday for the funeral of military commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in U.S. drone strikes, his daughter threatened the United States and President Trump.
“Crazy Trump, don’t think that everything is over with my father’s martyrdom,” Zeinab Soleimani said in an address.
Aerial footage showed crowds packed thoroughfares and side streets in central Tehran, mirroring the masses that gathered in 1989 for the funeral of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Esmail Qaani, the new head of the Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guards’ unit in charge of foreign operations, said Iran would continue Soleimani’s path.
Soleimani built up Iran’s network of proxy regional forces, creating a crescent of influence stretching from Lebanon through Syria and Iraq to Iran. Allies also include Palestinian and Yemeni groups.
Prayers at Soleimani’s funeral in Tehran, which later moved to his southern home city of Kerman, were led by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who wept as he spoke. Soleimani was widely seen as the second most powerful figure in Iran behind Khamenei.
In response to Iran’s warnings of retaliation, Trump has threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites, including cultural targets, if Tehran attacks Americans or U.S. assets, deepening a crisis that has heightened fears of a new Middle East conflagration.
Soleimani was a national hero to many Iranians even as the west branded him responsible for the death of hundreds.