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Rouhani: Iranians, regional nations will avenge assassination of Gen. Soleimani, his companions

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the Iranian nation and other nations in the region will never forget the assassination of top anti-terror commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and will avenge them in due time.

Rouhani made the remarks on Thursday while addressing a ceremony held to inaugurate a number of Ministry of Energy’s national projects.

January 3 will mark the first anniversary of the US assassination of General Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). He was admired as the Middle East’s most potent counter-terrorism commander, with a unique charisma.

He was Iran’s lead military advisor helping Iraq and Syria defeat foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists, chiefly Daesh.

General Soleimani was martyred in a US drone strike in Baghdad during an official visit. His Iraqi trenchmate Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force, was also killed along with their other companions when their convoy was hit.

Describing the assassination of the two top commanders as unforgivable injustice, Rouhani said, “[US President Donald] Trump committed many crimes and killed many people, but we will never forget these two cases.”

Iran’s chief executive added, “These [Americans] must know that we will always lament their loss and the Iranian nation, along with other nations in the region, will one day avenge their assassination.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani asserted that people in West Asia will finally expel all criminal and invading foreign forces from this region.

“All nations have realized that as long as the Americans are in this region, the region will not see a perfect and desirable [day], and the nations of the region, God willing, will one day expel these criminals and invaders [from the region],” Rouhani said.

A few days after the assassination and as the “first slap,” the IRGC unleashed a barrage of missiles on January 8 at the United States’ Ain al-Assad air base in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, causing massive damage to the base.

According to top Iranian officials, the ultimate revenge for Soleimani’s assassination would be to throw the American forces out of the region.

Rouhani said the enemy was surely harmed by its “wrong” move to brutally assassinate General Soleimani, making a veiled reference to the fear the American officials reportedly feel ahead of the general’s martyrdom anniversary.

He said the enemy should rest assured that the people and the youth of Iran and the region are more resilient and stand with more hope in the path of resistance and independence of the region.

The president also pointed out that he personally knew the top commander for forty years.  

“General Soleimani did not hesitate to carry out what he perceived as his national, religious and revolutionary duty, and this is very important,” he recalled.

Washington-Tehran tensions have soared in recent weeks, with the United States sending B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf and dispatching a nuclear-powered submarine to the region in provocative moves against the Islamic Republic.

The deployments came after several Katyusha rockets landed near the US embassy in Baghdad’s highly fortified Green Zone earlier this month.

Washington blamed Iran for the attack, but the Islamic Republic has strongly denied any involvement in the incident.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Thursday that the Islamic Republic avoids military conflict, but is prepared to put up effective defense.

“Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday.

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