UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Tehran and a number of other cities to condemn the American “crimes”, after the killing of General Qassem Soleimani in an American raid in Baghdad at dawn Friday.
After Friday prayers, crowds went out to the center of the Iranian capital and chanted “Death to America,” according to an AFP correspondent.
The demonstrators carried pictures of General Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who was killed in an American missile attack at Baghdad airport.
Soleimani, 62, was a popular figure among Iranians.
Men and women, including many elderly people, roamed the streets of central Tehran, also carrying pictures of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And they chanted “The axis of evil is the United States” and “Death to America” and “O leader of our revolution, our condolences, our condolences.”
A group of men tore down the American flag and set it ablaze.
“The whole world will realize who the terrorist is,” said elderly cleric Ali Bakhshi. “The whole world now knows.”
“The leader of the revolution has responded to them (the Americans) with great intelligence and accuracy. The Iranian people will resist,” he told France Presse.
Another group of men stood on the sidelines of the protests, and some burst into tears.
“Loved by people.”
Among the protesters was Mohsen Rezai, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards who currently heads the Expediency Council.
Dozens of members of the Revolutionary Guards, wearing green uniforms, appeared to be sad and sad.
“I think America has taken a great risk and you will get a response,” said one of them, who gave his name as Qasemi.
“I don’t think war will break out. They don’t have the courage to enter into direct conflict with us. I think we will give them an overwhelming response,” he told AFP.
And the official Iranian news agency (IRNA) reported similar rallies in the cities of Shiraz (south) and Arak and Yazd (center).
Local television broadcast pictures of marches from other cities, including Tabriz, where women were seen wearing black and tears streaming from their eyes.
Reports that Soleimani was killed by several people led to spontaneous gatherings in the city of Kerman (center), his hometown, according to the official Iranian news agency.
After Soleimani participated in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), he rose to the Revolutionary Guard and became commander of the Quds Force.
In recent years, he has become a prominent figure in Iran.
A student who said his name was Khonsari said that Soleimani was “loved by the people.”
“America has shown how weak and defeated it is in the region by killing an Iranian general … who was loved by the people,” he added.
“You must know that the entire Iranian people are Qasim Soleimani … and his death has united the country again so that it can take revenge on the world’s arrogance.”
General Qassimi has played a prominent role in strengthening the diplomatic weight of Tehran, especially in Iraq and Syria, as well as in the battle against the jihadists.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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