2021-April-21 18:59
Politics
2020-December-16  15:39

Leader Underlines Iran’s “Definite” Retaliation for Assassination of General Soleimani

TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei once again underlined Iran's resolve to punish all those who have perpetrated and masterminded the terror attack on former IRGC Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, but said Tehran's response would not be confined to one direct military action.

“The unforgettable funeral ceremony of martyrs Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces) in Iran and Iraq in which millions of people participated, and the commemoration ceremonies of these two martyrs, astonished the generals of the arrogant powers’ soft war and was the first strong slap across the face of the Americans,” Ayatollah Khamenei said at a meeting with organizers of the commemoration ceremonies to be held to mark General Soleimani's assassination also attended by his family members in Tehran on Wednesday.

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the missile attacks on the US base of Ein al-Assad in Iraq after General Soleimani’s martyrdom, and said that the harsher slap is supremacy over the enemy in software issues and expulsion of the American forces from the region which needs the nations’ efforts and policies of the resistance front.

He added that these slaps are different from retaliation, noting that the perpetrators and masterminds of General Soleimeni’s assassination should be punished and retaliated and “this retaliation is definite whenever possible”.

Ayatollah Khamenei, meantime, said that the murderers of General Soleimani are not worth even as much as his shoes.

“The entire world admits that the US has not attained its goals in Syria, and specially Iraq, and the great hero of this big job is General Soleimani which was fulfilled during his life,” he added.

Elsewhere, Ayatollah Khamenei advised the Iranian officials not to trust the enemy, reminding them that the administration of former US democrat President Barack Obama also showed many hostilities towards the Iranian nation.

He added that the three European states, Britain, France and Germany, which participated in nuclear talks with Iran, also displayed maximum hypocrisy and lack of action in implementation of their nuclear deal undertakings.

“Lifting sanctions is up to the enemy but nullifying them is up to us,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

“We must be strong in all areas, including economy, science, technology and defense, because as long as we do not grow strong, the enemies will not give up greed and aggression,” he added.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution added, “Of course, we do not mean that we should not seek to have the sanctions lifted, because if the sanctions can be lifted, we should not hesitate for even an hour. However, this has been delayed for four years now. Since 2016 when all sanctions were supposed to be lifted at once, not only have they not been lifted, they have even increased.”

As a final point, Ayatollah Khamenei told his audience, “If the sanctions can be lifted in a correct, wise, Iranian-Islamic, and dignified manner, this should be done. But our main focus should be on neutralizing the sanctions, and the initiative for this is in your hands."

Lieutenant General Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3, 2020.

The airstrike also martyred al-Muhandis. The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.

Five Iranian and five Iraqi military men were martyred by the missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.

On January 8, the IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the US assassination of General Soleimani.

Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army's central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.

The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of "Martyr Soleimani" reprisal operation.

Iraq said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.

The IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.

Meantime, Iran announced in late June that it had issued arrest warrants for 36 officials of the US and other countries who have been involved in the assassination of the martyred General Soleimani.

"36 individuals who have been involved or ordered the assassination of Hajj Qassem, including the political and military officials of the US and other governments, have been identified and arrest warrants have been issued for them by the judiciary officials and red alerts have also been issued for them via the Interpol," Prosecutor-General of Tehran Ali Alqasi Mehr said.

He said that the prosecuted individuals are accused of murder and terrorist action, adding that US President Donald Trump stands at the top of the list and will be prosecuted as soon as he stands down presidency after his term ends.