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Iranians pay tribute to Gen. Soleimani on 4th martyrdom anniversary in Kerman

Thousands of Iranians gather in the southern province of Kerman to pay tribute to top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani on his fourth martyrdom anniversary on January 3, 2024.

Thousands of Iranian people have flocked to the southeastern province of Kerman to pay homage to top anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated along with a number of his companions in a 2020 US drone strike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

General Soleimani’s hometown and burial site hosted a deluge of the legendary commander’s lovers and followers from all walks of life and various social strata on Wednesday on his fourth martyrdom anniversary.

Kerman’s authorities said 1,300 distinguished experts and lecturers are to narrate the sacrifices of General Soleimani on the sidelines of his martyrdom anniversary, announcing the convention of 13 discussion forums as well as printing 1,000 volumes of books revolving around his character and school of thought.

The provincial officials also predicted a 30-percent increase in the number of pilgrims and visitors to General Soleimani’s burial site compared to last year.

General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and their companions were assassinated in a US drone strike authorized by then-US President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

In less than a week after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that required the government to expel all US-led foreign forces from the country.

The IRGC also targeted the US-run Ain al-Asad base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar with a wave of missile attacks in retaliation for the assassination of General Soleimani.

Court on Gen. Soleimani assassination to be held in two months

Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, was cited by Mizan news agency, affiliated with the Iranian Judiciary, as saying on Wednesday that a court trial on the US assassination of General Soleimani will be held in the next two or three months.

Stressing that the Islamic Republic had informed the American defendants that they could appear in court and defend themselves or appoint a lawyer for themselves, Gharibabadi said, “If the defendants do not introduce a lawyer, the court will appoint a lawyer for them.”

Iran’s top human rights official said an Iraqi delegation had ensured Tehran in a recent visit that they would soon wrap up their investigations and file an indictment with the court.

“We are in constant contact and negotiation with Iraq and we asked them to finish the investigations as soon as possible and submit their indictment to the court,” he said.

Gharibabadi expressed optimism that the first session of the court will be held within the next two to three months.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that it had sent a second official notice to the US administration, seeking arbitration over the 2020 assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander.

The US administration has until the end of April to respond to the notice, which was written based on the Protection of Diplomats Convention, a 1973 United Nations anti-terrorism treaty on the prevention and punishment of crimes against internationally protected persons, including diplomatic agents.

The second notice was written and sent after the United States failed to respond to the first one on holding negotiations.

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