- As Iran awakes to the news that Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, was killed by the US military, official responses are beginning to appear.
- The Iranian foreign minister called the US move “extremely dangerous,” “international terrorism,” and a “foolish escalation” while a senior military official vowed that Iran would have its revenge.
- An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the US had crossed a “red line” and must “be ready to face its consequences.”
- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the US as he declared a three-day mourning period for the general.
- And, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted that “the great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”
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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Friday that “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the US after an American airstrike killed Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general and the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, in Iraq.
In the statement, which was carried by state television and posted online, Khamenei also declared a three-day mourning period for the commander, the Associated Press reported.
His warnings followed several earlier Iranian reactions.
One of the first reactions came from senior IRGC official and Iranian politician Mohsen Rezaee, who wrote: “We will take vigorous revenge on America.”
— محسن رضایی (@ir_rezaee) January 3, 2020
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif then sharply criticised the US strike on Soleimani, calling the move “extremely dangerous” and a “foolish escalation.”
“The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” the minister said on Twitter as Iranians awoke to the news that the notorious commander of the infamous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force is dead. Soleimani was a respected figure in Iran who led the elite Quds Force for over two decades and reported only to Iran’s supreme leader.
The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.
The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020
Hours after the death of Soleimani, a senior adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a warning on Telegram, according to the Associated Press. “Trump through his gamble has dragged the US into the most dangerous situation in the region. Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.”
State television, which had cancelled broadcasts to focus on the death of the Iranian general, called the US move a major miscalculation, stating that “the people of the region will no longer allow Americans to stay.”
Following Khamenei’s statement, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that “the great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”
The flag of General Soleimani in defense of the country's territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region will be raised, and the path of resistance to US excesses will continue. The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 3, 2020
The Iranian reactions followed an announcement from the Department of Defence that the US military, acting on the orders of President Donald Trump, “has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani.”
The US said that Soleimani is directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of US service members over the years, as well as more recent attacks on US personnel. The Pentagon said that the general was planning additional attacks that threatened US personnel and interests in the region.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon explained.
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