The leader of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, Qasem Soleimani, was possibly the second most powerful figure in Iran, after the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Killing him was an act of war against a substantial regional power. The consequences of this act have yet to be determined but the international community is already alert to the conflict that could be unleashed.
After the attack, the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, assured that those who assassinated Soleimani face “harsh revenge.” “His passing will not stop his mission, but the criminals who have stained their hands with the blood of General Soleimani and other martyrs in the attack on Thursday night must expect harsh revenge,” the leader added.
The Iranian president noted that “Soleimani’s martyrdom will make Iran more decisive in resisting US expansionism and defending our Islamic values,” Rouhani said in a statement. “Without a doubt, Iran and other countries seeking freedom in the region will retaliate,” he warned.
In turn, the United States justified the action with the aim of “deterring future plans for Iranian attacks.” “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack US diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement quoted by local media. The US embassy also urged its citizens to leave Iraq.
Donald Trump has yet to comment on the issue, but Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, did, through a message on Twitter: “Iraqis – Iraqis – dancing in the street for freedom; grateful that General Soleimani is gone. “
“Dangerous escalation of violence”
Nancy Pelosi, president of the US House of Representatives has criticized the attack that she, she emphasizes, could “provoke a dangerous escalation of violence.” “The United States and the world cannot allow tensions to escalate to the point of no return. The Administration has carried out tonight’s attacks in Iraq without an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran. In addition, this action was taken without the consultation of Congress, “he settled.
“This is an escalating movement in a dangerous region. President Trump has just thrown a stick of dynamite into a powder keg, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep our troops, our personnel, safe. of the embassy and our interests, both in our country and abroad, “added former Vice President Joe Biden.
Internationally, Russia was one of the first countries to react, condemning Soleimani’s assassination and predicting increased tension in the Middle East. “The assassination of Soleimani as a result of a bombing on the outskirts of Baghdad we see as an adventurous step that will lead to an increase in tension throughout the region,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Israel, in turn, has begun to take steps to protect itself from possible retaliation against it after the US bombing. The Israeli Army informed Efe that “after an assessment of the situation, it was decided to close Mount Hermon (in the Golan Heights, occupied by Syria) to visitors today.”
This is the first preventive measure after the attack on the Baghdad airport that killed the commander of the elite force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guardians (IRGC). Mount Hermon was the target of missile launches from Syria in the past and is only a few kilometers from the border with Lebanon.
“Lower the tension”
The leader of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, Hasan Nasralá, assured this Friday that he will follow the path of the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guardians (IRGC), General Qasem Soleimani, who died this morning in a selective bombing of the United States. in Baghdad.
“We will complete the path of Commander Soleimani and we will work day and night to achieve his objectives,” said the leader in statements collected by the Lebanese television channel Al Manar, a spokesman for Hezbollah.
“Avenging the murderers of the mujahideen (fighters) will be the responsibility and the job of everyone in the Resistance,” said Nasrallah, referring to the armed wing of the group, backed by Iran and that together fight in Syria on the side of the Syrian president , Bashar al Assad.
In Europe, the UK asked “all parties” on Friday to lower the tension after the US attack. “We have always recognized the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani. After his death, I call on all parties to lower the tension. A major conflict is not in our interest,” said Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Minister. , in a short statement.