21:09 GMT22 October 2020
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    As tensions between the US and Iran begin to escalate following a series of events including the storming of the US embassy, the world waits in anticipation for an Iranian response after top general Qasem Soleimani was assassinated in a targeted US airstrike.

    Iran has released a commemorative propaganda poster showing recently-killed commander Qassem Soleimani being embraced by the Prophet Mohammed's grandson.

    Imam Hussein is shown towering over the commander as the latter appears to be entering the afterlife following his death in a US air strike on Friday morning.

    The image was put up by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Instagram and was reportedly created by Iranian artist Hasan Rouh al-Amin.

    View this post on Instagram

    #سلیمانی_آسمانی شد

    A post shared by Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei (@khamenei_ir) on

    The poster was unveiled amid a furor among protesters in the streets of Baghdad attending a funeral processions for Soleimani and an Iraqi militia commander who was killed alongside him in the attack.

    Demonstrators chanted anti-US slogans including "Death to America" and "America is the Great Satan" as they marched alongside coffins carrying the two slain commanders.

    Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the prime minister of Iraq, also attended the funerals today and threatened to expel all remaining US troops from the country, asserting that the US military presence in Iraq is "a brazen violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

    The US has responded instead be sending between 3000 and 3,500 additional troops to the Middle East in the wake of the rising tensions between Iran and the US.

    Following the attack, US President Donald Trump boasted that he had ordered the killing of Soleimani to end what the US leader referred to as the latter's "reign of terror", and to prevent war, claiming that the commander was plotting to hit US targets.

    "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war", he said while relaxing at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Friday.

    Mourners in the Iraqi capital carried posters of Soleimani and flags of Muhandis's Iran-backed Kataeb Hezbollah militia, which has committed attacks against US bases in recent months, climaxing with a siege of the US embassy on Tuesday.

    Soleimani was reportedly hit by three missiles fired from an American MQ-9 Reaper drone as he rode in a vehicle close to the Baghdad International Airport.

    Iran has pledged to retaliate with vengeance, with Iranian ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, telling CNN that the assassination was “tantamount to opening a war against Iran”.

    “The response for a military action is a military action", he said.

    Associating Soleimani with Imam Hussein and being embraced by him is a significant honour, as Hussein is viewed in Shia Islam as a hero and the third Imam.

    As the grandson of the prophet, Imam Hussein's death is the origin of the Sunni and Shiite dissension within the Islamic community, after he was killed in 680 AD by the Umayyad caliphate.

    Islam, Donald Trump, Iran
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