July 23, 2020
Iran leaders say they are “avengers of blood” and “will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans” who assassinated top general.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Iranian officials said “harsher revenge awaits the perpetrators” of the attack in which a top Iranian general was killed in January by an American drone-strike, the country’s state-run Press TV reported Wednesday.
Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and several associates were killed in January when the car they were in was hit by a U.S. missile near Baghdad’s international airport.
Soleimani was a powerful figure who spread Iranian influence throughout the region by helping form the governments of Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, saving Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad from being defeated and inserting Iranian-backed forces and influence from Afghanistan to the Gaza Strip.
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said that President Donald Trump admitted he gave the order and “committed the crime of assassinating General Soleimani” along with a senior Iraqi militia leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
“The two Iranian and Iraqi nations are avengers of blood of these martyrs and will not rest until they punish the perpetrators,” Shamkhani tweeted. “Harsher revenge is on the way.”
In retaliation for the attack, Iran fired several ballistic missiles a U.S. base in Iraq on January 8 and claimed 80 American soldiers had been killed. The Americans initially said nobody was injured, but later admitted that dozens of soldiers suffered “traumatic brain injuries” from the blasts.
Iran also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other U.S. military and political leaders behind the strike, Press TV reported.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this issue and will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.
“They killed your guest at your own home and unequivocally admitted the atrocity. This is no small matter,” Khamenei told the Iraqi leader.
Last month, a senior American general said the elimination of Soleimani has had a “significant effect” in deterring the Iranian threat.
“I think that has had a significant effect in establishing and reestablishing a rough form of deterrence in the theater,” said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of the U.S. Central Command.
Nonetheless, the Islamic Republic is still considered the greatest danger in the Middle East