Iran commander who replaced Qasem Soleimani vows revenge as anniversary looms

Iran commander who replaced Qasem Soleimani vows revenge as anniversary looms
Retaliation could even come from 'inside your own house', Quds Force chief Esmail Ghaani warned the US.
2 min read
01 January, 2021
Esmail Ghaani took over the Quds Force after Soleimani was killed [Getty]
A top Iranian commander has pledged to continue "resistance" against the US as the anniversary of the killing of his predecessor nears.

Esmail Ghaani, head of the foreign operations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, suggested such acts of resistance could even take place in the US.

"From inside your own house, there may emerge someone who will retaliate for your crime," Ghaani said during a televised event to mark the killing of former Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani.

Soleimani was killed on January 3 last year in a US drone strike in Iraq alongside several Iran-backed militants.

"American mischief will not deter the Quds force from carrying on its resistance path," Ghaani said on Friday, referring to the Republican Guards' foreign operations branch.

Just days after the Baghdad drones strike, Iran retaliated by firing a volley of rockets at an Iraqi air base hosting US troops. That same night, Iranian forces accidentally shot down a Ukranian airliner, killing everyone on board.

Tehran and its allies have repeatedly vowed to do more to avenge Soleimani's killing, however.

Iran's judiciary chief warned on Friday that the commander's killers would "not be safe on Earth".

Ebrahim Raisi, speaking at the event in Tehran paying tribute to Soleimani, said not even US President Donald Trump, who ordered the strike, was "immune from justice".

"They will witness a severe revenge. What has come so far has only been glimpses" of it, Raisi said.

"Do not presume that someone, as the president of America, who appeared as a murderer or ordered a murder, may be immune from justice being carried out. Never," he said.

"Those who had a role in this in this assassination and crime will not be safe on Earth."

The event was attended by Iranian officials, and speakers included representatives from allied regional countries and forces, namely Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

A separate event is expected to be held in the coming days in Kerman, Soleimani's hometown where he is buried.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since 2018, when Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed crippling sanctions.

Agencies contributed to this report

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