Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said that former US president Donald Trump must be prosecuted and executed as the murderer of Qasem Soleimani during his memorial ceremony.
Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has vowed revenge against Donald Trump unless the former US president is tried over the killing of Qasem Soleimani.
A massive memorial was held in Tehran on Monday for Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in Iraq in 2020.
Speaking at the ceremony, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi demanded Trump, as the "main aggressor and murderer", must be “prosecuted and executed.”
"The aggressor and the main assassin, the then president of the United States, must face justice and retribution," said Raisi, addressing Tehran's largest prayer hall.
He said Trump must be punished alongside former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo "and other criminals".
"If not, I’m telling all American leaders, don’t doubt that the hand of revenge will come out of the sleeves of ummah," Raisi said, referring to the worldwide community of Muslims.
Escalating regional tensions
In the Palestinian coastal enclave of Gaza, a ceremony was also held on Monday to commemorate the second anniversary of the killings.
Later on the same day, the leader of Lebanon's Iranian backed Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, was also due to speak.
The events highlight tensions in the Middle East, which has been roiled by Trump's 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw America from a deal aimed at limiting Tehran's nuclear program.
As talks continue in Vienna to try to resuscitate the 2015 nuclear accord, Iran remains able to apply pressure from outside of the negotiations even as it is squeezed by sanctions and a shadow war with Israel.
Killing of Soleimani
The nighttime strike destroyed a convoy carrying Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, deputy leader of the Hashd al Shaabi coalition of pro-Iranian armed groups, and others.
Trump – under whom tensions over Iran's nuclear programme escalated, leading to a new and painful sanctions regime – ordered the assassination, which brought the enemies to the brink of a direct military confrontation.
Washington said at the time that Soleimani was planning imminent action against US personnel in Iraq, a war-battered country long torn between principal allies Washington and Tehran.
Iran responded days later by firing missiles at bases hosting US troops in Iraq. No one was killed but Washington said dozens suffered traumatic brain injuries.