Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Iranian supreme leader, wept while leading mourners in prayer, forcing him to pause. Soleimani was the head of the Quds Force, the unit in charge of foreign operations of Iran’s revolutionary guards.
Iranian commanders have issued a range of threats since the US strike, without being specific. “Even killing Trump is not a sufficient vengeance, and the only thing that can pay for the blood of martyr Soleimani is completely expelling America from the region,” revolutionary guards aerospace force chief Amirali Hajizadeh said.
Trump has, meanwhile, warned Iran of major retaliation and threatened heavy sanctions on Iraq if American troops are forced to leave. “We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump said. “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
Trump’s remarks ratchet up tensions on a day when Iraqi lawmakers voted to pursue the removal of foreign troops from the nation.
Trump also spoke briefly about North Korea, predicting of leader Kim Jong Un: “I don’t think he’d break his word to me but maybe he will.” The US president had earlier said the US had drawn up a list of 52 targets — the same number of US Embassy
hostages held for 444 days after the Iranian revolution — that he said would be hit if Americans were attacked. Trump said the targets included cultural sites, comments that have drawn criticism from his US political opponents.
Saudi Aramco faces test just after $25-bn IPO
Saudi Aramco’s status as an oil-producing behemoth located in one of the world’s most turbulent regions always marked it as likely to suffer bouts of volatility. But few could have expected the stock to face so stern a test less than a month after the company’s historic $25.6 billion initial offering. The world’s most profitable company extended declines on Monday after dropping to its lowest closing price yet a day earlier.