Iran's President Rouhani has promised it will get revenge for the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Friday. 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 Ali Khamenei offered similarly vengeful comments. He said: "Severe retaliation awaits murderers who have the blood of Mr Soleimani and that of other martyrs on their wicked hands." He said Soleimani's death would intensify Iran's hostility towards the United States and Israel.
Qassem Soleimani, 62, was regarded as the second most powerful figure in Iran. He was Iran's pre-eminent military leader and was viewed as the architect of Iran's spreading influence in the Middle East. Such was his popularity with many Iranians, he was dubbed the "rock star general". U.S. President Donald Trump said he ordered the assassination of Soleimani after the death of an American in attacks on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Mr Trump said the assassination was to prevent war in the region. He called Mr Soleimani a terrorist responsible for thousands of deaths. The world is now on tenterhooks to see how Iran retaliates. "World War III" was the top-trending hashtag on social media on Saturday.