Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the January 3rd 2020, killing of General Qassem Soleimani, the feared leader of Quds Force in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran’s leaders are vowed revenge. It also comes as Iran approaches a critical stage in enriching uranium.
Soleimani was killed in a drone strike over the skies of Baghdad. As the anniversary neared, President Hassan Rouhani told his cabinet and the world the killing would not go without retaliation.
"The martyrdom of our great general (Soleimani) in a brutal assassination by American officials - mainly the president of the United States and his Secretary of State - these two are among the main culprits of this crime. Of course, others had a role too, and our nation will not leave them alone,” Rouhani said.
Other Iranian officials at a ceremony for Soleimani pointed specifically at U.S. troops in the region.
“Today, we have no problem, concern of apprehension in encountering any powers. We will give our final words to our enemies in the battlefield,” said General Hossein Salami, Chief Commander of the Revolutionary Guard.
Over the weekend, Israel delivered a second Iron Dome anti-missile battery to the US Army. In a show of strength, five American B-52 strategic bombers flew over the Persian Gulf to deter any potential attacks.
The Times of Israel reported the IDF is preparing for a potential strike by Iranian backed militias in Iraq or Yemen.
On the nuclear front, Iran also informed the UN it would begin enriching uranium to 20% at its Fordo facility. That puts Iran one step away from creating weapons-grade uranium.
“We are like soldiers and our fingers are on the triggers. The commander should command and we shoot. We are ready for this and will produce [20% enriched uranium] as soon as possible,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.
A decade ago, Iran's decision to pursue that percentage of enrichment nearly provoked an Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities.
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