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Iran says identified 125 individuals, mostly Americans, involved in Gen. Soleimani assassination

Mourners attend a funeral ceremony for top Iranian anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and his comrades, who were killed in a US terrorist drone strike near the Iraqi capital's international airport, in Tehran, Iran, on January 6, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

Iran’s top human rights official says the Islamic Republic holds the United States fully responsible for the 2020 assassination of top anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani, noting that Tehran has identified more than a hundred suspects in connection with the horrendous crime.

Speaking in an interview with IRIB TV 2 television network, Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary general of Iran’s Human Rights Office, explained that 125 individuals, mostly US officials, have already been identified, and that some countries that were involved in the terrorist act were also asked to provide Iran with related information and documents.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to cooperate with Iraq, as the country where the crime took place, to identify all perpetrators, sponsors, and plotters, and bring them to justice,” Gharibabadi noted.

The Iranian official pointed out that former US president Donald Trump spearheaded the assassination, saying Trump has openly admitted to committing such a terrorist act and is proud of it. “His confession is considered as a credible document in international courts,” he maintained.

Gharibabadi went on to say that a criminal investigation into the assassination is underway and the probe will be completed in the near future.

“The Iraqi government has filed a case in this regard, and we have had interactions with Baghdad. General Soleiemeni, as the flag-bearer of the fight against terrorism, was an Iranian citizen and therefore we will handle this case according to [Iran’s] Islamic Penal Code,” he said.

“General Soleimani was on a non-military operation on the night of his martyrdom. He had departed for Iraq carrying a message about regional issues. We believe the terrorist act of his assassination can be an example of crime against humanity,” the senior Iranian official said.

“No individual, institution, country, or political faction involved in the assassination of General Soleimani can and must be able to enjoy impunity,” Gharibabadi underscored.

General Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were targeted along with their companions near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020, in a terrorist drone strike authorized by Trump.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to expel all foreign military forces led by the US.

‘US forces will soon pull out of entire region’

Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, second-in-command of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said General Soleimani played an essential role in bringing about the withdrawal of American occupation forces from Afghanistan.

“The honorable martyr thwarted all US plots in Iraq and helped the formation of an Islamic establishment in Iraq. He also safeguarded Syria’s territorial integrity and armed [Palestinian resistance fighters] in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, he worked with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to empower Hezbollah to rise up against Israel,” he said.

Fallahzadeh said General Soleimani bonded together all strata of Iraqi and Syrian societies, at a time when most of Syria’s lands were occupied by Takfiri terrorists and the whole Damascus neighborhoods were targets of militant mortar attacks.

He changed the course of the events there and destroyed the last strongholds of the Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s eastern city of Abu Kamal near the border with Iraq, the general added.

‘Iran to be able to sanction Americans soon’

Separately, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the IRGC second-in-command, said there will come a time soon when Iran will threaten the US with the imposition of sanctions rather than the other way around.

“As the enemy is not threatening to attack us and is worried about Iran’s actions against arrogant powers, there will come a time not in the distant future when we will threaten the United States with sanctions,” he asserted.

“If we follow the ideals of the [1979 Islamic] Revolution, we can quickly reach the point where we can sanction the American [rulers],” Fadavi said.

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