RNA - “General Soleimani was a popular and powerful commander of all Iranians who thrived for the dignity and independence of Iran and was martyred by the US criminal regime for this reason,” Larijani said in a condolence message on Friday.
The Iranian parliament speaker underlined that the Iranian nation will not forget the US crime, and said, “Iranians have done so many sacrifices to preserve the country’s honor and dignity.”
“The US regime is the most hated regime in the world, and the arrogant system knows that through committing such crimes it will never be able to interfere with the determined will of the great Mujaheds (veterans) brought up in the Muslim nations, he said in his message,” he added.
Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by US aircraft at Baghdad International Airport early Friday morning.
"General Qassem Soleimani has been martyred by the US helicopters after lifetime efforts," the IRGC said in a statement 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 said the two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
A PMF official said seven people were martyred by missiles fired by the US helicopters at Baghdad International Airport.
He said the dead included the PMF airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda.
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.
US President Donald Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.
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.