WANA – At a ceremony held on the occasion of the third death anniversary of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Mosalla today, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi stressed that the General’s assassins are not supposed to feel comfortable.

The ceremony was attended by several Iranian officials, high-ranking military figures such as Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossein Salami, Gen, Qaani, head of Quds forces as well as clerics, resistance figures and people in the Mosalla (Grand Prayer Ground) of Tehran.


Making a speech in this event, Raisi underlined: “We have not forgotten the spilled blood of Martyr Soleimani and we will not forget. Those who assassinated him must know that we will take his revenge and won’t let the murderers and decision-makers to feel comfortable.”

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, gives a speech during a ceremony to mark the third anniversary of the killing of senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. attack, in Tehran, Iran, January 3, 2023. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency)

Iran has always been accused of seeking to make Shiites and expand Shiites with its military development and expansion of its presence in the region. An accusation that Iran has not accepted and believes that many times its soldiers have lost their lives to give security to the Sunni people of the region. Referring to this view point, Dr. Raisi stated: “Unlike what some said that he aimed to turn the region [the Middle East] into a Shia region, he tried to expel the oppression from the region.”


In this speech, the President of Iran considered General Soleimani to be a symbol of the fight against terrorism and arrogance in the 21st century.

Iranian Women hold pictures of Qassem Soleimani, during a ceremony to mark the third anniversary of the killing of senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. attack, in Tehran, Iran January 3, 2023. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency)

President Raisi also censured the Western countries claiming that they play role in the recent unrests in Iran: “You claim that you know Iran, you conspire, stage riots, wage combined warfare, but you are defeated again and again.”


The ineffectiveness of all foreign threats and pointing out that Iran will overcome all these sanctions, threats and economic problems was the final part of Dr. Raisi’s speech. “Threats, sanctions, through these you want to make us stop, but we will never stop,” he added.

Who was General Qassem Soleimani and what he did?


Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was born on March 11, 1957 in the village of Qanat-e Malek, in Kerman Province, southeast of Iran. He was recruited to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corpse (IRGC) in 1979. He was a commander in the war former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein imposed on Iran known in the country as the Sacred Defense (1980-1988).


Then, Gen. Soleimani became involved in extraterritorial operations, and in the late 1990s became commander of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of the IRGC. In the aftermath of the al-Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, he directed Iranian diplomats to cooperate with U.S. military forces in Afghanistan to confront and destroy the Taliban.


During the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) or Daesh in 2014, the commander played a key role in battles against the militant group in Iraq and Syria.


He was assassinated during a U.S. drone airstrike in Baghdad International Airport, on January 3, 2020 along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the ‎Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi) as well as eight other Iranian and ‎Iraqi companion officers.


The Islamic Republic of Iran claims that Gen. Soleimani had been invited by the top Iraqi officials to give advice in bringing peace to that country when he was attacked by the American drone contrary to the international laws.


Tehran’s officials have stressed many times that they will take a harsh revenge for the assassination of the Quds Force’s former commander. They also say that all legal actions will be taken to make those involved in the attack accountable and Iran will follow the procedure to convict them.