Iran cancels Soleimani ceremony in Tehran after massive turnout in second city
By: "Agencies" and TOI Staff
Coffins of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and others who were killed in Iraq by a US drone strike are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners during a funeral procession in the city of Mashhad, Iran, January 5, 2020. (Mohammad Hossein Thaghi/Tasnim News Agency via AP)
Iran on Sunday canceled a Tehran ceremony to honor slain general Qassem Soleimani due to an overwhelming turnout by mourners in the country’s second city, Mashhad, the Revolutionary Guards said.
Soleimani’s body arrived in Iran Sunday morning after his death in a US airstrike on Friday.
“Considering the glorious, intense and million-man presence of the revolutionary people of Mashhad in the ceremony to bid farewell to Islam and Iran’s great general Qassem Soleimani and since the program is still continuing… it is not possible to hold the event in Tehran,” the Guards said.
Mourners flooded the Iranian cities of Ahvaz and Mashhad Sunday, weeping and beating their chests in homage to Soleimani. The country’s semi-official Mehr news agency and Fars news reported millions of mourners in the Mashhad procession.
As Shiite chants resonated in the air, people held portraits of the man seen as a hero of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and for spearheading Iran’s Middle East operations as commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force.