Iranian General Qassem Soleimani's daughter warns of 'dark day' for America

6 January 2020, 08:32 | Updated: 6 January 2020, 09:18

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The daughter of the slain Iranian general who was killed by a US drone strike has warned America faces a "dark day" in revenge for his death.

Qassem Soleimani was the leader of the country's elite Quds Force, he was targeted in a drone operation by US forces last week prompting the nation to threaten revenge.

Iranian state television showed huge crowds in Tehran for the event with General Soleimani hailed as a national hero who was widely considered the second most powerful man in the country behind the Supreme Leader.

The general's funeral was held on Monday and saw thousands of mourners taking to the streets of Tehran, with the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, leading prayers over the coffins of those killed in the US airstrike.

Ayatollah Khamenei wept at one point during the traditional Muslim prayers for the dead as the crowd and others wailed.

Afterwards, the crowd screamed: "Death to America!"

Thousands of mourners take to the streets
Thousands of mourners take to the streets. Picture: PA

At the funeral, the general's daughter, Zeinab Soleimani, warned America they and Israel would both face repercussions.

Speaking live on Iranian state television she said: "Crazy Trump, don't think that everything is over with my father's martyrdom."

She added that a "dark day" would befall the two countries as a result of his death in Baghdad on Friday.

"The families of the American soldiers in western Asia ... will spend their days waiting for the death of their children," she said to cheers from the crowd.

Mourners pay their respects over the caskets of those who died in the US airstrike
Mourners pay their respects over the caskets of those who died in the US airstrike. Picture: PA

Zeinab's words come after the new Quds force commander General Esmail Ghaani, warned he would get "rid of America from the region".

Following the funeral, the general's remains will then be taken to Qom, one of the centres of Shia Islam, for a ceremony ahead of a funeral in his hometown of Kerman on Tuesday.

Iran's supreme leader warned that "harsh retaliation" awaits the US, and defence minister Amir Hatami threatened "crushing revenge".

President Donald Trump has vowed to bomb 52 sites in Iran if Tehran retaliates against the USA over the general's killing.

In a series of tweets, Mr Trump wrote: “Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters.

“He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years.

“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.

“The USA wants no more threats!”

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "we will not lament" the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, describing him as "a threat to all our interests".

Alongside his French and German counterparts, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, the PM has called for all sides to work towards an urgent easing of tensions in the Persian Gulf.

The three leaders released a statement late on Sunday night saying while Iran must stand condemned for the negative role it has played in the region, "there is now an urgent need for de-escalation".

The Prime Minister warned that "all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region" - adding that the UK "is in close contact with all sides to encourage de-escalation".

"We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped," the joint statement said.

"We specifically call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation and urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal).

"We recall our attachment to the sovereignty and security of Iraq. Another crisis risks jeopardising years of efforts to stabilise Iraq."

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