Iran vows revenge against enemy United States after killing one of its top commanders, Qasem Soleimani, in an air strike Friday on Baghdad airport.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of “severe revenge” for “the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood”, and vowed that “God willing, his work and his path will not be stopped”.
The Revolutionary Guards confirmed the commander of its Quds Force had been killed by US forces in Baghdad, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slamming the move as “foolish” and denouncing it as a “dangerous escalation”.
“The Revolutionary Guards announces that the glorious commander of Islam, haj Qasem Soleimani, following a life of servitude, was martyred in an attack by America on Baghdad airport this morning,” said a statement read.
A black ribbon was displayed on the screen and a photo montage was shown with images of Soleimani smiling and praying, as Khamenei also declared three days of mourning.
Soleimani was one of the most popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies.
The Islamic republic’s top security body called an emergency meeting over the attack.
Secretariat spokesman Keyvan Khosravi was quoted saying, “Supreme National Security Council will be held to review the murderous attack on the vehicle of General Soleimani in Baghdad.”
In a statement, the foreign ministry said the United States would pay for the “atrocity”.
“By assassinating General Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both high ranking military officials, Trump has declared war against the armed forces of both Iran & Iraq. It is best for all American citizens to leave the region immediately. US occupiers will be forced to leave Iraq.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “There is no doubt that the great nation of Iran and the other free nations of the region will take revenge for this gruesome crime from criminal America.”