In an emotional ceremony in Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday prayed over the coffin containing the remains of top military commander Qasem Soleimeni. Earlier, in a rare display of emotion the supreme leader of Iran, Khamenei cried openly at the funeral of slain Gen Soleimani, his most important military commander with whom he shared a deep bond. Supreme leader had awarded the general Iran’s highest military order in March.
Iranian news agency reported that Soleimani was the only Iranian military official to receive the Order of Zulfaqar since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In a deeply personal and symbolically weighty gesture, Iran’s supreme leader made a rare visit to Soleimani’s home the day he was killed to offer condolences to his grieving widow and grown children.
Rather than calling him by his last name as is customary, Khamenei referred to him as Hajj Qassem another indication of how close the two were.
After Soleimani was killed, Khamenei declared three days of mourning across the country and vowed harsh retaliation.” The loss of Soleimani is bitter,” Khamenei said in statements carried on Twitter and in Iranian media Monday.