Raeisi made the remarks in a Monday meeting with members of a special headquarters set up to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a drone attack ordered by former US President Donald Trump outside Baghdad International Airport in January 2020.
“Haj Qassem managed to train very good forces out of Iraqis and Syrians to defend those countries and fight oppression, and in doing so, he created a huge capacity in the Islamic world,” Iran’s president said.
The president pointed to remarks by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei who noted that General Soleimani should be viewed as a school of thought, saying, “The fact is that Haj Qassem was not a single person but a school of thought, who sent a message to all societies.”
Raeisi stated that General Soleimani first developed his own personality and then tried to help others improve theirs.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president stressed the importance of building new capacities and deployment of revolutionary forces in the country, saying, “We need our officials, youths and people to enjoy such a capacity that would enable them to withstand threats and do not backtrack in the face of those threats.”
General Soleimani and deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi Mahdi al-Muhandis, the two iconic figures in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group, were killed in a US airstrike outside the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
Days after the brazen act, the IRGC launched a volley of missiles at a major military base housing American forces in Iraq.
Iranian officials have on several occasions vowed to avenge the death of the two top commanders.
Iran has denounced the assassinations as “state terrorism” and vowed to end the American presence in the region as the ultimate act of revenge, while urging neighboring Iraq to expel the US forces from the country.
A research revealed in October that a secretive UK intelligence base was likely involved in the US military’s drone strike that assassinated the top Iranian anti-terror commander, among its other controversial targeted killings.
According to the research, it “was probable” that the targeted killing of General Soleimani had been planned using information obtained from the Menwith Hill intelligence base, run by the UK Royal Air Force, in Yorkshire.