Millions of Iranian Mourners Pay Homage to Hero Soleimani
IRAN NEWS NATIONAL DESK
According To Iran News, Millions of Iranians have packed the streets of Tehran to pay homage to the Middle East’s most prominent anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated on U.S. President Donald Trump’s order Friday.
A huge sea of mourners, streaming from all the adjoining streets in freezing temperatures, descended on the iconic Engelab Square in central Tehran Monday morning before rallying to Azadi Tower in the capital’s west.
Chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” they carried portraits of their national hero whose assassination in a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad airport has generated an outpouring of anger and patriotism across Iran and elsewhere, with vociferous calls for revenge.
A correspondent for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) said he had not seen such a crowd in 20 years in Tehran, where important occasions usually draw people in millions.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei led the prayers over the general’s coffin and the remains of his companions at Tehran University, his voice cracking several times with emotion which caused the massive crowd to weep.
The coffins of Gen. Soleimani and Iraq’s anti-terror commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was also assassinated in Friday’s attack, were draped in their national flags and passed from hand to hand across the heads of mourners.
General Soleimani’s daughter, Zeinab, addressed the crowd, saying “the name Haj Qassem Soleimani is now shaking the nest of Zionism, Takfirism, and the order of hegemony.”
“America and Zionism should know that my father’s martyrdom has awakened more human instincts on the resistance front. It will make life a nightmare for them and shatter their spider houses,” she said.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh also paid tribute to “this great commander,” calling him three times in succession as the “martyr of Quds” in reference to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
“This brutal crime perpetrated by the Americans shows the cruel and barbaric spirit that is causing all the atrocities and bloodshed in the blessed land of Palestine,” he told the mourners in Tehran.
Gen. Soleimani’s popularity transcends geographical boundaries, and many people across the Middle East and beyond regard him as the figurehead in defeating Daesh and other Takfiri groups.
His humble persona and devotion to the security of the regional countries and the Palestinian cause made him a darling of the masses in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and even the Palestinian territories.
Gen. Soleimani won the enmity of the US, Israel and their allies in the West and the Middle East alike, because they viewed the charismatic military tactician as a threat to their plans in a resource-rich region.
“To mad Trump who himself is a symbol of ignorance and a plaything of Zionism: Don’t think it’s all over with the martyrdom of my father!” Soleimani’s daughter said.
The U.S. assassination, in fact, has injured the national pride of the Iranians who regard Soleimani as the symbol of their overarching patriotism.
Since arriving in Iran, the cortege for Gen. Soleimani and his companions has drawn people in millions.
From Tehran, Gen. Soleimani’s remains will finally go to his hometown Kerman in the southeast for burial on Tuesday (today) , with expectations of even greater multitudes from across Iran.