Iran's president has promised to get revenge for the assassination of general Qassem Soleimani. In a strongly-worded statement, President Rouhani said: "The Americans do not realise what grave error they have committed. Revenge for his blood will be secured, and the filthy hands of America will be cut off forever from this region." Iran's religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei mirrored these comments. He said: "Severe retaliation awaits murderers who have the blood of Mr Soleimani on their hands." He said Soleimani's death would increase hostilities towards the USA.
Qassem Soleimani, 62, was the second most powerful figure in Iran. He was the country's top military leader and the architect of its spreading influence in the Middle East. Some media called him the "rock star general". U.S. President Donald Trump ordered his assassination after the death of an American in attacks on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. He said the assassination was to prevent war in the region. He said Soleimani was a terrorist responsible for thousands of deaths. The world is now waiting to see how Iran retaliates. "World War III" is now a top hashtag on social media.