Iran said on Friday the current US administration is also "responsible" for the assassination of revered commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike carried out two years ago under former president Donald Trump.
“Undoubtedly, the criminal act of the United States in martyring General Soleimani is a clear manifestation of a ‘terrorist attack’ that was orchestrated and carried out in an organized manner by the then US government for which the White House is now responsible,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement referring to US President Joe Biden's administration as the country began ceremonies to mark the second anniversary of the attack.
Trump sent shockwaves through the region on January 3, 2020 with the targeted killing of General Soleimani, who was the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
He was assassinated along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport ordered by Trump.
Five days later, Iran fired a volley of ballistic missiles at American forces based in Iraq in an attack described by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution as “just a slap” in the face of the US. Washington said dozens of troops suffered traumatic brain injuries from the explosions.
“The US government bears ‘definitive international responsibility’ for this crime,” the ministry said, adding that “all the agents, instigators, contributors and perpetrators of this terrorist crime are responsible”.
The statement noted Iran has taken numerous measures to hold all individuals and entities involved accountable before courts and “will continue on this path until the final result is achieved”.
The ministry hailed General Soleimani as a “hero of the fight against terrorism” who helped establish peace and stability in the region and beyond.
“The martyrdom of General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and their great companions, not only did not diminish the capacity of the Axis of Resistance, but on the one hand imbued the domestic environment of Iran with national cohesion and unity, and on the other hand further highlighted the strategy and discourse of the Resistance,” added the statement.
The top commander played a pivotal role in taking out the Daesh terror group that overran parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The move by then US officials to publicly assassinate General Soleimani “is in itself a message of support for terrorist groups that explicitly exposes the lies of counterterrorism claimants,” the Iranian ministry said.