On January 2, Iranian terror leader Qasem Soleimani was killed by a U.S. airstrike at the Baghdad airport. Also killed in the blast were Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Mohammed Reda, both high-level figures within the Popular Mobilization Forces — an Iranian-supported militia force.
Iranian ambassador to the U.N. Majid Takht Ravanchi swiftly condemned President Donald Trump’s actions, declaring, “The U.S. has already started a war against Iran, not just an economic war but something beyond that by assassinating one of our top generals.”
“There will be harsh revenge… The response for a military action is a military action,” the diplomat promised.
Trump acts swiftly
Soleimani headed Iran’s elite Quds Force, an organization that the State Department blames for widespread terrorism in a number of countries. Further, the Pentagon says it’s responsible for the deaths of over 600 American service members.
What’s more, Sen. Lindsay Graham has claimed that “the intelligence was very strong” Soleimani planned to carry out future attacks in Iraq.
“We took action last night to stop a war,” President Trump declared after it emerged that Soleimani was dead. “We did not take action to start a war,” he added.
While video footage showed some Iraqis celebrating Soleimani’s demise in the streets, Iran’s government was far less impressed.
“Iran will take revenge”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted, “The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.” He also pledged that “the path of resistance to U.S. excesses will continue.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reacted angrily as well, pledging that “harsh retaliation is waiting for the criminals whose filthy hands spilled his blood.”
Meanwhile, Iraq’s government also appears to have reservations about what happened. According to Fox News, an anonymous government official said, “Things are moving very fast, but the leaders want the U.S. troops out now.”
“The U.S. was only authorized to be in Iraq with the government’s approval for a specific purpose – to fight ISIS. This was a violation of that agreement.”
Iraq’s Prime Minister Sameera Abdullah was quoted by Fox as well. “This is reckless,” he complained. “We want President Trump to study the consequences for killing Soleimani.”