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.
Gen. Soleimani’s assassination to strengthen resistance movement: Iran FMIran’s foreign minister strongly condemns US assassination of IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani.
‘Iran more determined now’
Following the Leader’s remarks, President Hassan Rouhani strongly condemned the attack, and said the US assassination will make Iran and other free nations more determined to stand against Washington.
“The martyrdom of the great commander of Islam and Iran, and the courageous commander of the Quds Force, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, along with some of his companions especially the great fighter Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, by the aggressive and criminal US broke the heart of the entire nation of Iran and regional nations,” President Rouhani said in a Friday statement.
The assassination “doubled the determination of the great nation of Iran and other free nations to stand against and resist the excessive demands of the US and to defend the Islamic values,” he added.
“There is no doubt that this cowardly and evil move is another sign of the US’ desperation, inability and failure in the region, and the hatred felt by the regional nations toward this criminal regime,” Rouhani noted.
“The great nation of Iran and other free nations of the region will take revenge for this heinous crime against the criminal US,” he warned.
Iran summons Swiss envoy, condemns US ‘state terrorism’Iran has summoned the Swiss charge d’affaires over the US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.
Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami also vowed that revenge will be taken against all those behind the assassination.
“Undoubtedly, this heinous crime which is a strong proof of the evil nature of the Big Satan, the arrogant US and it’s all-out support for terrorism in the region and Iraq, will be responded to in a crushing way,” the defense minister warned.
Earlier, former commander of the IRGC Major General Mohsen Rezaei also vowed a harsh revenge against the perpetrators.
Details of the attack
Speaking to Iran’s state TV, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi explained that the US’ missile attacks hit two cars transferring General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and 10 companions and bodyguards from Baghdad Airport to the city at 1 am (local time).
According to Masjedi, all the passengers have been killed, and arrangements are being made for their return to the Islamic Republic of Iran.