General Soleimani was killed in a US air strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020 and the move alost pushed the world to the brink of World War 3 as Iran vowed revenge. In a further move to enshrine its slain general Iran has announced a new award in his honour. The World Sacrifice Prize was announced by Iran’s Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, and will be awarded to soldiers who show valour.
Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Saied Reza Ameli, stated the award had been proposed by Soleimani originally.
Ameli, who also serves as a professor of communications at the University of Tehran, said that council members “thank and appreciate the Iranian people for their epic participation in General Soleimani’s funeral which came as an expression of their loyalty…to the supreme goals of the Islamic Revolution.”
Described in some circles as “the most powerful general in the Middle East”, he was a top military commander in Iran’s Quds Force, and killed on the instruction of US President Donald Trump.
President Trump stated to Republican donors at his South Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, that Soleimani was “saying bad things about our country” in the run up to the Iranian leader’s death.
Shortly following the air strike, President Trump tweeted out a single image of an American flag as the early reports of Soleimani’s death began to circulate.
The new commander of the Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, stated that the US killed his predecessor “in a cowardly way” and vowed to take revenge “in a manly fashion”.
Tehran responded to the killing of Soleimani with a ballistic missile attack on two Iraqi military bases.
They immediately condemned the air strike which claimed Soleimani’s life and held a multi-city funeral in Iraq and Iran for the general, and other casualties claimed in the strike.
The country also admitted firing two missiles accidentally at a Ukrainian passenger plane, which killed all 176 passengers and crew.
Iran stated the downing of the plane was the result of “human error”, a statement which caused widespread protests against the government,
Speaking at the meeting of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, said that the country would remain united.
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President Rouhani stated that the crowds at the funeral procession only proved that the US had failed in attempts to create a division in Iran and Iraq.
He added: “Martyr Soleimani was a very respectful person who did not abandon his services to the Revolution and the society.”
It was after Rouhani’s speech that members of the council unanimously approved the prize to be given to a single war veteran.
The death of General Soleimani has sent shockwaves around the world.
A stampede during the funeral procession killed 56 and injured 213.
Cities across the world have seen protests at their respective Iranian embassies, which often turned violent.
More recently, the US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, stated that if any Americans were killed by Soleimani’s successor, that the US were prepared to also kill him.
He said: “If Ghanni follows the same path of killing Americans, then he will meet the same fate.”
Tension inevitably continues between the countries in the wake of the killing of Soleimani.
However, it is not yet clear what the next move will be, or how the tension could be resolved.
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