Iran is marking the second anniversary of the death of its popular commander of the IRGC Quds Force Gen. Qasem Soleimani, killed by US drone strike under the Trump administration while leaving Baghdad airport on Jan.3, 2020.
Large rallies were held in Tehran and across major cities marking the occasion, which included a theme of “we are all Soleimani” and anti-American slogans and signs. Further Iranian leaders, as well as Soleimani’s daughter, Zeinab Soleimani, who has been outspoken since his death – have vowed they will see “vengeance” done against Washington. She said in a Monday speech: “We vow to move closer, hand in hand and step by step, to the horizon of exacting ‘harsh revenge’ on enemies whose hands are stained with their blood,” according to state media.
But the comments from the day which grabbed international headlines, as they were by design meant to get Washington’s attention given the brazenness and outlandish nature of the “threat”, were issued by Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi. He vowed that Muslims would “take revenge” against the US if Trump and Pompeo aren’t arrested and brought to trial.
“If Trump and (former secretary of state Mike) Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge,” Raisi said in a televised speech Monday, according to Reuters.
Of course, no US leader in history has ever been put on trial for any alleged “war crimes” abroad, and Raisi without doubt knows this. But it comes after the Islamic Republic submitted a formal letter to the United Nations demanding that it hold both the US and Israel accountable for the 2020 killing.
Iran and its allies in Iraq have argued that given Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission at the time of his death, the drone killing ordered by then President Trump was essentially an assassination of an active ambassador and top government official. According to Al Jazeera:
In a letter to the UN General Assembly published late on Saturday, the legal department of Iran’s presidential office called for “all legal initiatives in its power, including issuing a resolution”” to condemn the US government and discourage similar moves in the future.
The letter said US governments have, for years, displayed an “excessive unilateralism” in their actions that has granted them the power to violate international laws and agreements.
Interestingly and strangely, some Iranian officials took a jab at Trump over the Jan.6 Capitol events…
2 years ago, I lost a friend, Iran a hero & the world a champion in fighting terrorism.
To those in denial, Trump’s true colors were on full display only a year later in US Capitol.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 1, 2022
In the days after the Jan.3rd killing, which shocked many regional leaders given the brazenness and unpredictable nature of the attack, Iran hit back by sending cruise missiles on some American bases in Iraq, specifically at at Al Asad and one in Irbil. Though no casualties were initially confirmed there began to slowly emerge reports of at least dozens of head injuries and concussions suffered by US personnel, described as “Traumatic Brain Injury” – but which the Pentagon tried to downplay.