Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says revenge for Iran’s senior commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimeni, who was assassinated by the United States, is certain and will be exacted at the right time.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks on Wednesday at a meeting with organizers of programs to commemorate the first martyrdom anniversary of top Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and a group of their comrades. Members of General Soleimani’s family were also present at the meeting.
The two commanders were martyred in a drone strike ordered by US President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3. Back then, General Soleimani was in the Iraqi capital on an official visit at the invitation of the Iraqi government.
The two figures were highly popular because of the key role they played in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh terrorist group in the region.
Ayatollah Khamenei recalled the million-strong funerals that were held for the two commanders, saying the “unforgettable” ceremonies “surprised the arrogance’s soft war generals and served as a first severe slap in the face of the Americans.”
The Leader added that Iran’s retaliatory missile strike on the American Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq had been another slap in the face of the Americans
Ayatollah Khamenei said a tougher slap will still await the arrogant powers by defeating them in the software sector through the efforts of revolutionary youth and faithful elite, and by expelling the United States from the region through the joint efforts of countries that are part of the resistance front.
“Of course, this harsh slap will be separate from the revenge that will be exacted on those who ordered and perpetrated General Soleimani’s killing, and this revenge is certain [and will be taken] at the [earliest] possible time,” the Leader added.
Ayatollah Khamenei said General Soleimani’s “historic” martyrdom turned him not only into a national hero for Iranians, but also a hero for the entire Muslim Ummah.
“Martyr Soleimani became a hero of the entire Iranian nation, and people from different strata honoured him and expressed their feelings, the reason being that Soleimani was the embodiment of cultural values of Iran and Iranians,” the Leader said.
He also mentioned courage and the spirit of resistance as the prominent characteristics of General Soleimani.
The Leader further said General Soleimani possessed “wisdom, ingenuity, sacrifice and altruism” and was a man of spirituality and sincerity, not hypocrisy.
General Soleimani defeated arrogance first during his lifetime and then with his martyrdom, Ayatollah Khamenei said. “The US president admitted they had achieved nothing despite spending 7 trillion dollars in the region. He even had to visit a military base for a few hours in the dark of night. Today, the whole world acknowledges that the United States has achieved its objectives neither in Syria nor in Iraq thanks to the heroism of General Soleimani.”
‘Iran must focus on neutralizing sanctions’
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader advised the people and officials to double their efforts to strengthen the country in economic, science, technology and defense sectors, and not to trust the enemy.
Ayatollah Khamenei further stressed that the country should focus on neutralizing the sanctions instead of trying to secure their removal, saying, “The lifting of sanctions is in the hands of the enemy, but neutralizing them is in our own hands.”
“Of course, we do not mean that we should not seek to lift the sanctions, because if the sanctions can be lifted, we should not delay that even by an hour,” he explained.