Soleimani, 62, headed Iran's elite Quds Force, and was tasked with protecting and boosting Iran's influence in the Middle East.
The escalatory cycle began in May 2018, when Trump recklessly ignored the advice of his national security team and the opposition of allies in unilaterally withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal – despite Iran’s full adherence to its terms and its efficacy in rolling back Iran nuclear program.
Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” campaign has made life hard for the general population, soaring the cost of living due to which we saw protests scattered all over the country recently.
However, the assassination of General Soleimani has once again united the country and even bought sympathies from the Iraqi nation which was evident from the hundreds of thousands of mourners in his funeral in several Iraqi cities.
Monday’s procession was held in Tehran and General Soleimani will be finally laid to rest in his hometown of Kerman.
UPDATE OF EVENTS:
German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass expressed his concerns over the increasing tensions in the Middle East, but also reiterated that the Iraqi government’s position must be respected.
The move is non-binding, but it is likely to be heeded by the Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi who slammed U.S. attack and informed parliament that Soleimani was due to meet with him the day he was killed and deliver a response from the Iranians to a Saudi message that could have led to a de-escalation of tensions, reports Reuters.
Tehran says it can reverse course and undo breaches of nuclear agreement if U.S. economic sanctions are lifted. In the meantime, Tehran will continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the country said.
Last year on the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy take over in a televised speech Ali Akbar Salihi, head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization said: “Today, we are witnessing the launch of the array of 30 IR-6 centrifuges.” This brought the number IR-6 centrifuges to 60. The centrifuges will allow Iran to produced enriched uranium 10 times faster than the first general models.
Caption: Iran's supreme leader wept as he led prayers for Qasem Soleimani, as huge crowds gathered in Tehran.
Caption 2: Among those there was Esmail Ghaani, the new head of Quds. (Reuters)