IRAN laid on an unprecedented nationwide funeral procession for Gen Qasem Soleimani as hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in protest at his killing.
A giant flag bearing the general’s portrait and ‘#hardrevenge’ was hoisted over the mosque in the city of Qom as demonstrators chanted ‘America is the Great Satan’ in cities across the country. Three days of national mourning has been declared as fears grew for the security of the British embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, which a mob stormed in 2011.
In London, protests took place outside the US embassy in Nine Elms.
Doug Wise, a former CIA boss in the Middle East, said: ‘If you are a British or US diplomat, you better be checking for bombs under your car. Inexorably, the UK will be deemed by Iran to be an American target.’
Iran’s parliament opened yesterday with MPs chanting ‘Death to America’. Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi compared US president Donald Trump to Daesh and Adolf Hitler. ‘They hate all cultures, Trump is a terrorist in a suit,’ he added.
Gen Soleimani’s coffin has been paraded in the western city of Ahvaz, the northern city of Mashhad and will lie in state in Tehran today before travelling to Qom ahead of burial in his hometown of Kerman tomorrow.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people, including Iranian ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad, attended a memorial service at the Islamic centre in Maida Vale, north London, on Saturday.
Islamic student association member Hasan Akhawan, 26, said people were ‘devastated’ by the killing. He said the general was ‘one of the main figures who fought Isis (Daesh) and we’re here to show people are supportive of him’.