Iran vows ‘severe revenge’ over general’s killing

By BBC On Fri, 3 Jan, 2020 12:33 | < 1 min read
Forty people have been killed in a stampede as Iranians flocked to the burial of a top commander killed in a US drone strike, officials say. [PHOTO | FILE]
Forty people have been killed in a stampede as Iranians flocked to the burial of a top commander killed in a US drone strike, officials say. [PHOTO | FILE]

Three days of national mourning have been declared in Iran for the top general.

A government spokesman said the country’s top security body would meet today to discuss the “criminal act” that led to his death.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “severe revenge awaits the criminals” behind the strike, while Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called it an “act of international terrorism”.

The death of the general has also dominated Iranian media, which has paid tribute to him for his military life and particularly his involvement in the wars in Iraq and Syria.

The general is being remembered as a martyr and several TV channels have put a black diagonal band in the upper-left corner of their screens in his honour.

The Persian hashtag #harsh_vengeance has been trending since news of Gen Soleimani’s death was confirmed.

“Qassem Soleimani has joined his martyred brothers,” wrote Mohsen Rezaei, former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Cannot stop crying,” wrote well-known freelance military journalist Hossein Dalirian, who used to work for the IRGC-linked hardline news agency Tasnim.

In a televised interview, Tehran University Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi warned that vengeance would be forthcoming and advised all Western civilians, especially Americans, to leave the Middle East immediately.

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