Iran’s supreme leader has vowed “harsh revenge” on those responsible for the death of top military commander Qassem Soleimani.
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said those who assassinated the IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General must await a severe revenge. His death would double ‘resistance’ against the US and Israel, he added.
Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were both killed by a US air strike in the Iraqi capital early on Friday.
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Press TV reports: In a statement on Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the “cruelest people on earth” assassinated the “honorable” commander who “courageously fought for years against the evils and bandits of the world.”
His demise will not stop his mission, but the criminals who have the blood of General Soleimani and other martyrs of the Thursday night attack on their hands must await a harsh revenge, the Leader added.
“Martyr Soleimani is an international figure of the Resistance, and all the devotees of Resistance are now his avengers,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“All the friends and foes must know that the path of Jihad of the Resistance will continue with double motivation, and a definite victory awaits those who fight in this auspicious path,” the Leader said.
“The demise of our selfless and dear general is bitter, but the continued fight and achievement of the final victory will make life bitterer for the murderers and criminals,” he added.
In his statement, the Leader also offered condolences to the Iranian nation and General Soleimani’s family, and declared three days of national mourning.
What follows is the full text of the Leader’s statement:
In the Name of God
Dear nation of Iran!
The great and honorable commander of Islam became heavenly. Last night, the untainted souls of the martyrs embraced the pure soul of Qassem Soleimani. After years of sincere and courageous fight against the devils and evil-doers of the world and after years of wishing for martyrdom in the path of God, alas, dear Soleimani attained this lofty position and his pure blood was spilled by the vilest of human beings.
I congratulate Hazrat Baqiyatullah- may our souls be sacrificed for him- and his [Soleimani’s] own pure soul on this great martyrdom and I express my condolences to the Iranian nation.
He was a stellar example of those educated and nurtured in Islam and the school of Imam Khomeini (RA). He spent his entire life fighting in the path of God.
Martyrdom was his reward for years of implacable efforts. With his departure and with God’s power, his work and path will not cease and harsh revenge awaits those criminals who have tainted their filthy hands with his blood and the blood of the other martyrs of last night’s incident.
Martyr Soleimani is the international face of the resistance, and all who have a heart-felt connection to the resistance seek revenge for his blood.
All friends – and also all foes – should know that the path of fight and resistance continues with increased motivation and certain victory awaits the fighters on this blessed path.
The absence of our dear and self-sacrificing commander is bitter, but the continuation of the resistance and its final victory will be bitterer for the murderers and criminals.
The Iranian nation will cherish the name and memory of the towering martyr, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, together with his fellow martyrs especially the great fighter of Islam the honorable Mr. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. I declare three days of public mourning in the country and I congratulate and express my condolences to his honorable wife, dear children and family.
Later in the day, the IRGC spokesman General Ramezan Sharif warned that the US’ “momentary pleasure” after assassinating General Soleimani will be short-lived, and will soon turn into lamentation.
He also said the IRGC is going to open a new chapter from now on and the front of resistance is going to set out a new starting point.