Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said harsh revenge awaits the United States for the killing of the Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Major General Qasem Soleimani.
It was his first official reaction to the strike on Baghdad.
Khamenei said “harsh revenge awaits the criminals” involved in the killing of Soleimani and others, in a message to the nation published on his official website.
The Supreme Leader also said the fight would continue. “All friends – as well as all enemies – know that the path of Resistance will continue, and definite victory awaits the mujahideen on this blessed path”.
Khamenei then extolled Soleimani saying dying for the cause was the general’s great wish. “For years it was his wish to become a martyr, and finally God granted him his highest office”, adding “his pure blood was shed in the hands of the most depraved of human beings.”
Khamenei then extended his condolences to Soleimani’s wife, children and all Iranian people.
Khamenei also declared there would be three days of national mourning.
In his reaction, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will be more determined to resist the United States,
“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,” said Rouhani in a statement.
Foreign minister Javad Zarif described the assassination as an “act of international terrorism.”
In a tweet posted from his official account, Zarif also described the act — which killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani — as “extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation.”
“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”, he tweeted.