Iran’s foreign minister has lauded the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for fighting terrorism in the region, saying the Foreign Ministry under his watch will proudly follow the path of the elite force’s martyred commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks during a meeting with General Soleimani’s successor, Brigadier General Esmaeil Qa’ani, at the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.
“The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran will proudly follow the path of the commander of peace, Haj Qassem Soleimani, in institutionalizing peace and friendship with the countries of the region and in the fight against terrorism,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
“If it were not for the special role of this great martyr and hero of the fight against terrorism and Zionism, our region would look different today,” he added.
The chief Iranian diplomat called the Quds Force “a soldier without borders” that made a great contribution to regional and global security and peace.
The world would have been inflicted by terrorism and extremism today if the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group had succeeded in Syria and Iraq, he added.
For his part, General Qa’ani congratulated Amir-Abdollahian on his appointment as Iran’s foreign minister.
He paid tribute to General Soleimani and the Foreign Ministry’s martyrs, and highlighted the significant role of the ministry in securing national interests.
On January 3, 2020, the US military conducted an air operation under former US President Donald Trump’s order to assassinate General Soleimani at the Baghdad International Airport after his arrival in Iraq. The attack also killed the general’s companions, including Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
As part of its retaliation for the assassination, Iran launched a volley of ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase, located in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, and at another US airbase in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region, five days later. Over 100 American troops were later diagnosed with “traumatic brain injuries” in Ain al-Asad.
Iran has also called Soleimani’s assassination “state terrorism” and vowed to put an end to the US military’s presence in the region as its ultimate retaliation, while urging neighboring Iraq to expel US forces from the Arab country’s soil. Iran has also identified and vowed to pursue 36 individuals, with Trump at the top of the list, for the assassination.
Last month, Amir-Abdollahian said the US cannot escape the consequences of the terrorist act, and that the operators and directors must be punished and brought to justice for their terrorist attack.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry will pursue the assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis legally and through international channels, pledged Amir-Abdollahian, only three days after assuming office.