Ahead of the first anniversary of the assassination of Iranâ€™s Quds Force commander Maj.Â Gen. Qasem Soleimani by the United States,Â both sides have said they are prepared for escalation from the other side but will not be the first to make a move.
Iranâ€™s Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadÂ Zarif tweeted today, â€œInstead of fighting Covid in the US, [Donald Trump] & cohorts waste billions to fly B-52s & send armadas to OUR region.â€ He continued, â€œIntelligence from Iraq indicates plot to FABRICATE pretext for war. Iran doesnâ€™t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests.â€
US officials claimÂ they have sent submarines and bombers to the Persian Gulf in order to â€œdeterâ€ Iran ahead of possible attacks against US bases or interests in the region. Other US officials, however, haveÂ disputed the claimsÂ that Iran is seeking to attack US bases.
As the anniversary of Soleimaniâ€™s assassination approaches, many Iranian officials have been talking about his legacy. Given that Soleimani approached domestic politics through a nonpartisan approach, various political sides have attempted to co-opt Soleimani as one of their own. â€œWhat Soleimani understood was his national, religiousÂ and revolutionary responsibilities, and he never doubted their implementation,â€ President Hassan Rouhani said today. â€œWhen he understands that something is our responsibility, we must do it for our country, our people and our region.â€
Saeed Jalili, former hard-line nuclear negotiator and critic of Rouhaniâ€™s outreach to the West and attempts to negotiate, said that Soleimaniâ€™s actual legacy is that he had a realistic outlook on political issues. â€œSome say we have to be pragmatic in foreign policy,â€ said Jalili, who was often accused of being ideological during the nuclear negotiations when he was in charge. â€œActually,Â Soleimani was pragmaticÂ in the world of politics.â€ Jalili warned his critics and political opponents that â€œif you do not see this reality, you will remain in the same place for years.â€
Iran has continued to vow revenge for the assassination of Soleimani. However, they are still pursuingÂ a legal case as well. The human rights office of Iran, which is headed by Ali Bagheri, said the case is not a show and that the head of Iranâ€™s Judiciary, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, is seriously pursuing the case. â€œThe assassination was an act against the national security of the Islamic Republic,â€ Bagheri said.
It is not clear in what ways Iran will pursue a legal case, but they claim that other countries were involved as well. According to Bagheri, American bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan were used in the assassination, as well as a base in Germany. He addedÂ that a security firm in the United Kingdom,Â which was in charge of security for the Baghdad airport, was also involved.