Tens of thousands of Iranians thronged the streets of Tehran on Monday for the funeral of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a U.S. air strike last week in Baghdad.
The scale of the crowds in Tehran shown on television mirrored the masses that gathered in 1989 for the funeral of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Anger against the United States and Donald Trump was still palpable. Soleimani’s daughter said his death would bring a “dark day” for the United States.
“Crazy Trump, don’t think that everything is over with my father’s martyrdom,” Zeinab Soleimani said in her address broadcast on state television after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered Friday’s strike that killed the top Iranian general.
Iran has promised to avenge the killing of Soleimani, the architect of Iran’s drive to extend its influence across the region and a national hero among many Iranians, even many of those who did not consider themselves devoted supporters of the Islamic Republic’s clerical rulers.
In response to Iran’s warnings, Trump has threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites, including cultural targets, if Tehran attacks Americans or U.S. assets, deepening a crisis that has heightened fears of a major Middle East conflagration.
The coffins of the Iranian general and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was also killed in Friday’s attack on Baghdad airport, were passed across the heads of mourners massed in central Tehran, many of them chanting “Death to America”.
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