Soleimani killing: Iran vows 'resistance'; says murderers not safe

WION Web Team
Tehran, Iran Published: Jan 01, 2021, 06.26 PM(IST)

Rouhani Photograph:( AFP )

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

Iran on Friday warned that Qasem Soleimani's killers will "not be safe on Earth", as the Islamic republic began marking the first anniversary of the top general's assassination in a US strike.

Iran's judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, speaking at an event in Tehran to pay tribute to Soleimani, said not even US President Donald Trump, who ordered the strike, was "immune from justice".

"They will witness severe revenge. What has come so far has only been glimpses" of it, Raisi told the gathering at Tehran University.

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

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

The United States killed Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, in Iraq on January 3, 2020. Washington had accused him of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on US forces in the region.

Days after the US drone strike, Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi airbase where US forces were stationed, and Iranian forces on high alert mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Tehran.

Two US B-52 bombers flew over the Middle East on Wednesday in what US officials said was a message of deterrence to Iran ahead of the first anniversary.

On Thursday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused US President Donald Trump of attempting to fabricate a pretext to attack Iran and said Tehran would defend itself forcefully.

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

The two sides have twice come to the brink of war since June 2019, especially following the killing of Soleimani.

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