Iran vows retaliation following deadly attack at Soleimani commemoration ceremony

The powerful Revolutionary Guards condemned the incident as a “cowardly act” aimed at destabilizing the nation. They vowed to punish the perpetrators decisively and justly. Along with that, the attack has been described as the bloodiest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

 Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber have pledged revenge after explosions rocked a ceremony, resulting in nearly 100 casualties. Soleimani, a top Iranian commander, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2020 in Iraq, increasing tensions between the two nations.

Mokhber declared that a forceful retaliation would be executed by Soleimani’s soldiers, emphasizing the intent for a robust response. The responsibility for the attack remains unclaimed, yet a senior official from President Joe Biden’s administration characterized it as a potential “terrorist attack,” drawing parallels to actions attributed to Islamic State militants in the past.

The powerful Revolutionary Guards condemned the incident as a “cowardly act” aimed at destabilizing the nation. They vowed to punish the perpetrators decisively and justly. Along with that, the attack has been described as the bloodiest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

President Ebrahim Raisi condemned the act as a “heinous and inhumane crime,” while Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei promised retaliation for the twin bombings. The explosions occurred during a ceremony attended by hundreds of Iranians marking the anniversary of Soleimani’s death. Conflicting reports suggest a potentially higher number of wounded individuals than initially reported.

Iran has a history of accusing arch-enemies Israel and the United States of supporting anti-Iranian militant groups. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a 2022 attack on a Shi’ite shrine in Iran, resulting in 15 fatalities. Previous incidents linked to the group include the 2017 twin bombings targeting Iran’s parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Beyond the scope of ISIS, Baluchi militants and ethnic Arab separatists have also staged attacks within Iran. The heightened tensions date back to the U.S. assassination of Soleimani in January 2020, which led to Tehran’s retaliatory strikes on Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops.

The broader regional context reveals serious tensions between Iran, Israel, and the United States, particularly in light of Israel’s recent military actions against Iran-backed Hamas militants in Gaza. Yemen’s Houthi militia, backed by Iran, has also targeted ships in the Red Sea, a crucial global shipping lane, alleging links to Israel.