Iranians hold nationwide rallies to mourn General Soleimani

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians from all political and ideological backgrounds have staged nationwide demonstrations to mourn the martyrdom of IRGC Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani, shortly after he was assassinated in a targeted attack by American military forces in the Iraqi capital on Friday morning.
Massive crowds took to the streets in dozens of cities to display their resolve to avenge General Soleimani, who was killed along several others, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), following a US strike in Baghdad.
They also expressed solidarity with General Soleimani’s family and echoed an statement by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who earlier in the day vowed a “severe revenge” in response to the move by the US military.
In capital Tehran, thousands of people attending the Friday prayers held a rally after the event, carrying signs that warned the United States, Israel and their regional allies of harsh consequences.
 Leading the prayers this week was Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, who said the attack means “Americans around the world would never experience calm again.”
He said General Soleimani was the mastermind of the battle against the Western-backed Daesh terrorist group and the administration of US President Donald Trump will pay the price for assassinating him.
“The Americans should beware that they did not achieve victory here and rather took one more step towards annihilation,” Ayatollah Khatami said. “Today, the world and the resistance movements in Syria, Lebanon and other places are mourning Gen. Soleimani and want to avenge his blood.”
“The Americans, Trump in particular, can rest assured that Gen. Soleimani’s blood will erupt and we will take our revenge from them and turn their bright day into pitch black night,” he said.
 In his sermon, which was mostly dedicated to the martyred general, Aytaollah Khatami also said that the US strike shows it is time to purge US forces from the region.
“The time has arrived for the resistance to tell the Americans in practice to ‘Get out of the region you savages!’” he asserted.
Iranians also took to the streets in the southeastern province of Kerman, General Soleimani’s hometown, to mourn his death.
Thousands of people gathered at General Soleimani’s house in the provincial capital of Kerman, where he used to hold annual mourning ceremonies for Shia Imams on their martyrdom anniversaries.
Hojjatoleslam Hassan Alidadi, Kerman’s Friday imam, said the resistance front will even the score with the US.
“The outcome of this bloodshed is the end of US military presence in the region and the resistance front’s final victory over Israel,” he said.
Similar events were held in Qom, Tabriz, Lorestan and other cities.

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