Iran’s Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the assassination in January of top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Iraq, stating that the United States made a grave mistake by making such a coward move.
“By cowardly assassinating Gen. Soleimani, US committed a grave mistake,” the ministry said in a post published on its official Twitter page on Tuesday, as the anniversary of the crime draws near.
It added that Iraq’s parliament resolution calling on the government to end the deployment of any foreign military troops on the Arab country’s soil “is the beginning of the end of the malign presence in our region.”
“Our region has suffered long enough from the interventions of the outlaw regime in the US,” the statement said.
Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, were assassinated along with their companions in a US terror drone strike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.
Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill two days later, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.
Both commanders were admired by Muslim nations for eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
The US assassination drew a wave of condemnation from officials and movements throughout the world, and triggered huge public protests across the region.
Vowing harsh revenge, the IRGC, on January 8, targeted the US-run Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar.
According to the US Defense Department, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans who perished during the retaliation.
Iran has described the missile attack on Ain al-Assad air base as a “first slap.”
Head of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights Ali Baqeri-Kani announced on Monday that the country has identified and is prosecuting 48 individuals for masterminding and conducting Lt. Gen. Soleimani’s assassination.