RNA - "The martyrdom of General Soleimani and a number of his companions at the hands of the aggressive and criminal US has doubled the resolve of the great Iranian people and other free nations to stand up to the US avarice and defend Islamic values," Rouhani said in his message.
"Without a doubt, this cowardly and vicious act is another sign of the United States' frustration, weakness and helplessness in the region and the feeling of hatred on the side of regional states towards this aggressor regime who have violated all human principles and norms and international rights with the most inhumane brutality, recording another stigma on the sordid pages of this country," the Iranian president added.
"There is no doubt that the great nation of Iran and the other free nations of the region will take revenge on this horrible crime from criminal America," he stressed.
General Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by US aircraft at Baghdad International Airport early Friday morning.
The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi. The PMF media arm reported that the two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
The Pentagon confirmed the attack in a statement.
The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad. On Wednesday President Donald Trump ordered about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.
US officials earlier suggested they were to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.
The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-US relations that could further undermine US influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.
The attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.