President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi vowed revenge on Monday for the assassination of Iran’s revered Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani unless former US president Donald Trump was put on trial.
"If a mechanism for the trial of Mr. Trump, (former secretary of state Mike) Pompeo and other criminals is set up in a fair court to address their appalling crime and they are brought to justice for their despicable acts, it would be better. If not, I am telling all the American statesmen that a hand of revenge will undoubtedly come out of the Muslim world’s sleeve,” Raeisi warned as he addressed a large gathering in the Iranian capital Tehran to mark the second anniversary of the US assassination of General Soleimani in Iraq.
Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutuion Guards Corps, was on a mission in Iraq to meet the then prime minister when his convoy came under a drone attack near Baghdad Airport on January 3, 2020.
The strike, directly ordered by Trump, led to the martyrdom of the top commander and his entourage on the spot, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
Raeisi said Trump as “the prime criminal” of the case must be punished by death for his central role in the deadly strike.
He added the US “assassinated a nation, not a person” by the targeted killing that sent shockwaves throughout the region and the whole Muslim world.
The president noted that Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has rightly said that "martyr Soleimani" is more dangerous to the enemy than "General Soleimani," because the likes of Soleimani will rise in the future.
Also on Sunday night, Zeinab Soleimani, the commander’s daughter, renewed her pledge to avenge her father’s assassination.
“We vow to move closer, hand in hand and step by step, to the horizon of exacting ‘harsh revenge’ on enemies whose hands are stained with their blood,” Zeinab said during a vigil at Baghdad Airport, according to Press TV.
Manar, the daughter of Muhandis, also spoke at the event, reasserting that “we will take revenge for the blood” of the two commanders and their companions.
In a message on Sunday, Iraqi President Barham Salih paid tribute to “the brave stand of the two heroes” who “sacrificed their precious souls” to defeat the Daesh terror group in Iraq and Syria and to protect the region.
US, Israeli must be held accountable
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations urged the UN Security Council in a letter to hold the United States and Israel, which Tehran says was also involved in the assassination, to account.
“Given the dire implications of this terrorist act on international peace and security, the Security Council must live up to its Charter-based responsibilities and hold the United States and the Israeli regime to account for planning, supporting, and committing the terrorist act,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi wrote to Mona Juul, the rotating president of the world body.
The Iranian diplomat noted former head of the Israeli military intelligence Tamir Hayman admitted last December that the Tel Aviv regime was involved in the 2020 assassination and described it as “an achievement” and one of the two significant and important targeted killings during his term.
“As I have on numerous occasions underlined,” Takht-Ravanchi said, “this internationally wrongful criminal act was a grave breach of the obligations of the United States under the international law, and thus entails its international responsibility.”
“This criminal act also entails the criminal responsibility of all those who had aided, abetted or otherwise assisted and supported, by any means, directly or indirectly, the planning or perpetration of this terrorist act, the clear example of which is the supportive role and the involvement of the Israeli regime in it,” Iran’s UN envoy added.
In July 2020, the UN rapporteur for the extrajudicial killing concluded in a report that General Soleimani’s assassination was “unlawful” and “arbitrary” and violated the UN Charter.
Last year, Iran requested Interpol “red notices” against dozens of US officials, including Trump who also had an arrest warrant issued by an Iraqi court.
Takht-Ravanchi also emphasized that General Soleimani played a significant role in combatting international terrorism, and was rightfully entitled “Hero of the Fight against Terrorism and the General of Peace.”
“Therefore, his cowardly assassination was a big gift and service to the Daesh and other Security Council-designated terrorist groups in the region,” the Iranian diplomat said.