Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking on the third anniversary of the US killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, said on Tuesday that revenge for the slain commander was “certain.”
“We have not forgotten and will not forget the blood of martyr Soleimani, and let them know that revenge for the blood of martyr Soleimani is certain,” Raisi said in a televised speech.
Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, ordered by then President Donald Trump. He headed the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Iranian officials have repeatedly stated that revenge for Soleimani is in the works.
In November, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Iran would “never forget” the killing of Soleimani, adding that Tehran remained committed to avenging his death.
“We will never forget the martyrdom of Soleimani … We have said something about (avenging Soleimani), and we stand by that word. It will be done in its own time, in its own place, God willing,” said Khamenei.
This comes as protests – described by the regime as “riots” – have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran.
Since Amini’s death, demonstrators have been calling for the downfall of the regime in a movement that has become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.
At least 476 people, including 64 children and 34 women, have been killed by security forces in the protests, according to the Oslo-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR).