Three years after the death of a top Iranian general, President Ebrahim Raisi vowed vengeance in a speech delivered Tuesday to thousands gathered in commemoration.
Former President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 2, 2020. At the time of his death, the commander of Iran’s elite Qud forces was actively planning attacks on US diplomats and service members stationed in Iraq. The Iranian general was known for his role in orchestrating attacks on coalition bases across Iraq, including one that left a US service member dead and additional US and Iraqi personnel wounded, the Pentagon said.
In his address at a ceremony commemorating the slain commander, Raisi said those behind the general’s death “should know that retaliation is obvious,” The Associated Press (AP) cited. “There will be no relief for murderers and accomplices,” Raisi added. (RELATED: ‘Different Tracks’: US Strikes Iran Proxies While Nuclear Deal Remains Unsigned)
After his death, Soleimani earned the status of martyr in Iran and is highly regarded for his role in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, according to Voice of America. The late general’s cultural standing has been likened to that of Princess Diana or Elvis Presley.
Iran was quick to retaliate in the wake of Soleimani’s death, launching missile strikes on bases in Iraq that resulted in dozens of traumatic brain injuries suffered by US troops, Voice of America recounted. The names and photos of 51 Americans believed to have been involved in the death of Soleimani were published in Iranian state media Monday, according to The AP.
Raisi’s commemorative speech comes amid recent government crackdowns on nation-wide protests after the death of a young woman in police custody.