Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif launched Monday a harsh attack on the United States for assassinating the number one commander at the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
“You claim you eliminated ISIS. You killed ISIS’ number one enemy in a wretched act and with utmost bestiality that left nothing from his body expect one hand,” Zarif said while addressing the families of the Iranian foreign ministry's employees killed during the 1980 Iranian-Iraqi war.
Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3.
"You are cowardly and vicious," Zarif said while referring to Washington.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Deputy Commander for Coordination Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi vowed on Monday harsh revenge for the assassination of Soleimani, stressing that the US has not yet received Iran’s response.
“The response is that the US should leave the region and this will happen. The attack on Ein Al-Assad was merely a declaration of the Islamic Republic’s determination to respond,” Naqdi said in an interview with the state TV.
On January 8, the IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria in retaliation for the US assassination of General Soleimani.
“The attack had very big consequences but it was not the harsh revenge (vowed by Iran),” Naqdi said.
Also on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran that Soleimani’s assassination was not only against Iran but also against the national sovereignty of Iraq.
“The US treatment of Iraq as an occupied country conflict with the national dignity of the Iraqi people and the resolution of the Iraqi parliament confirmed this view,” he said.
The spokesperson added: "This issue has been pursued jointly between Iran and Iraq since day one. We hope that the Iraqi government will fulfill its obligations. We have pursued the legal and international aspects in various forums, and it will not end here. We are not threatening, and we are acting, and what happened that night will not be forgotten and will never be forgiven."