According to the official IRIB news agency reports, the body of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in a U.S. military strike, was returned to Iran on Sunday and driven through thousands of mourners.
Soleimani, the architect of Tehran’s overseas clandestine and military operations as head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, was killed on Friday in a U.S. drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.
While many Iranians have rallied in to show grief over the death of Soleimani, regarded as the country’s second most powerful figure after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, others worry his death might push the country to war with a superpower.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites “very hard” if Iran attacks Americans or U.S. assets.
Khamenei promised harsh revenge and declared three days of mourning on Friday.
Soleimani’s body was flown to the city of Ahvaz in southwest Iran.