Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official website has posted a photo illustration showing former IRGC- Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in an embrace with Imam Hussain as he arrives in heaven.
The image, posted on Khamenei’s official website and widely shared on state-run websites, shows Soleimani being welcomed to heaven by Imam Hussain.
Former Iranian Supreme Leader and the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is also present in the image, standing on the side while Soleimani is embraced by Imam Hussain.
Imam Hussain ibn Ali is one of the grandsons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad. Another Imam, presumably Imam Hussain’s brother al-Abbas ibn Ali, is also present in the image. The Imams’ faces are not shown.
On the top right corner of the image, Khamenei is quoted informing the Iranian people that Soleimani has gone to heaven. The quote is from a statement by Khamenei following Soleimani’s killing.
Soleimani, who headed Iran’s elite Quds Force - the overseas arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) - was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad on Friday.
The deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes was also killed in the attack. Al-Mohandes is also present in the image.
Iranian officials, including Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, as well as several senior IRGC commanders, have vowed revenge against the US.
Khamenei appointed Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani’s deputy, to replace him as head of the Quds Force.
Khamenei’s website had posted another similar photo illustration on Friday, showing Soleimani in an embrace with Imam Hussain.