Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced a series of US airstrikes that killed the chief of the elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, as international terrorism, warning the US of consequences of “rogue adventurism.”
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.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020
Immediate aftermath of missile attack in #Iraq that killed Iran Quds Force commander #Soleimani
MORE: https://t.co/8Rshkr8fGz pic.twitter.com/uPFH1s2TD6
— RT (@RT_com) 3 января 2020 г.
In a statement on Soleimani’s death, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that “revenge awaits the criminals who have stained their hands in his blood.” He promised that the airstrike will only “double” Tehran’s resistance against rivals in the region.
Defense Minister Amir Hatami pledged to exact “a crushing revenge” for the death of Soleimani. “We will take revenge on all those involved and responsible for his assassination,” he said.
Mohsen Rezaee, a member of a council that advises Khamenei and a retired major general in the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), also sent out a tweet on Thursday night vowing swift retaliation for the assassination.
“Martyr [#Qasem Soleimani]… joined his martyred brothers, but we will take vigorous revenge on America,” he said.
A number of US airstrikes near Baghdad International Airport earlier on Thursday left Soleimani and several Iraqi militia leaders dead, with two other Iraqi commanders reportedly arrested by US Marines. The Pentagon later confirmed the strikes, stating they were “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
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A number of American lawmakers also weighed in, some engaging in sabre-rattling, while others, such as Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), sounded the alarm about the prospect of a “massive regional war.”
“If Iran continues to attack America and our allies, they should pay the heaviest of prices, which includes the destruction of their oil refineries,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a tweet.
If Iran continues to attack America and our allies, they should pay the heaviest of prices, which includes the destruction of their oil refineries.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 3, 2020
An Iranian military spokesman, speaking to the semi-official Fars News agency on condition of anonymity, said the country’s top security body had called a meeting to discuss the “criminal attack” that killed the Quds Force commander.
The Quds Force is the IRGC’s foreign special operations division, which Soleimani headed up since 1998.