American politicians reacted along party lines. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell celebrated the attack, referring to Soleimani as "Iran's master terrorist". House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to the attacks as "provocative and disproportionate", and introduced a "war powers resolution" requiring Trump's administration to end hostilities with Iran not approved by Congress within 30 days. Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted "To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more." On the other hand, Senator Richard Blumenthal stated, "The present authorizations for use of military force in no way cover starting a possible new war. This step could bring the most consequential military confrontation in decades." The Democratic candidates for the 2020 U.S. presidential election, political challengers to Trump, largely condemned the airstrike. One candidate described the killing as a wag the dog incident, parallel to the bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan by president Bill Clinton during his impeachment process.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vowed to take "harsh revenge" against the U.S., and declared three days of mourning. President Hassan Rouhani also said Iran "will take revenge". Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the attack "an extremely dangerous and foolish escalation". Iran sent a letter to the United Nations, calling it "[s]tate terrorism" and said it violated principles of international law. On 7 January, Iran's parliament approved a €200 million increase in the Quds Force's budget, to be used in two months. Reuters reported that some Iranians including Soleimani supporters fear that a war could break out at a time of economic hardship and widespread corruption. Some older Iranians recalled memories of the Iran–Iraq War.More Info
The remains of Soleimani and the Iranian figures killed in the strike arrived in Iran on 5 January, where they became part of mourning processions in several cities, first in Ahvaz and later in Mashhad, where one million people attended the mourning. It was initially reported that Iran canceled the mourning procession planned in Tehran because the city would not be able to handle the number of attendees expected after the turnout in Mashhad; however, the Tehran service was held, at which Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly wept while leading prayers for the funeral. Iranian state media said the crowd of mourners numbered in the "millions", reportedly the biggest since the 1989 funeral of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iranian authorities planned to take Soleimani's body to Qom on 6 January for public mourning processions, then onto his hometown of Kerman for final burial on 7 January. Before the national procession was completed, multiple infrastructure works, such as the international airport at Ahvaz and an expressway in Tehran, had already been renamed after him. The funeral was boycotted by critics of the current government by using the hashtag #IraniansDetestSoleimani for the IRGC's war crimes. The hashtag was amplified by "inauthentic" accounts almost immediately after creation.More Info
In Iraq, outgoing Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi condemned the attack, calling it an assassination and stating that the strike was an act of aggression and a breach of Iraqi sovereignty which would lead to war in Iraq. He said the strike violated the agreement on the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq and that safeguards for Iraq's security and sovereignty should be met with legislation. The speaker of Iraq's parliament Mohammed al Halbousi vowed to "put an end to U.S. presence" in Iraq. The Iraqi parliament voted to ask the U.S. to withdraw their forces from Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist Movement and the Saraya al-Salam militia, ordered his followers to "prepare to defend Iraq".More Info
The sustained massive street protests in Iraq that led to Abdul-Mahdi's resignation as prime minister (and temporary caretaker role) restarted in the days after the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis, with a shift in the focus of protests from mostly anti-Iran to criticism of both the U.S. and Iran. The "Made in Iraq" street and online protests strengthened in Baghdad following the assassination. Major protests took place on 5 January 2020 in many cities, "Made in Iraq" protests on 7 January, and two thousand protested in Basra and Nassiriyah on 10 January, with one of the slogans being "Neither America nor Iran, our revolution is a young revolution."More Info
In a speech broadcast on 8 January on Iranian television IRINN TV and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute into English, Iranian President Rouhani stated that Iran will no longer stick to the 2015 nuclear agreement restrictions on uranium enrichment: "Iran's nuclear industry will prosper" he said. Secondly, Rouhani mentioned in his speech that "They cut off the hand of our dear Soleimani" and as revenge they, the Iranians, would cut off the legs of the Americans and toss them out of neighboring countries.More Info
We don't show ads. Help us keep it that way.