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Iran crisis: Soleimani's replacement says to 'be patient' for revenge
3 January 2020, 20:32
The replacement for killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani has said the country should "be patient" for revenge.
In one of the strongest statements to come out of the crisis so far, new Quds leader Ismail Qani said: "We tell everyone, be a little patient to see the dead bodies of Americans all over the Middle East."
The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, added shortly after: "Targeting Soleimani was a very dangerous and foolish escalation.
"Their words come as the US has sent an additional 3,000 troops to the region as tensions escalate.
Some of the troops will be based in Iraq, and others will arrive in Kuwait and other parts of the region.
However some military sources are quoted as saying this was a planned deployment, and not a reaction to Friday's escalation.
Meanwhile, it has also emerged that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was not informed of the plan to strike Soleimani, despite Republican senator Lindsey Graham saying he was informed of the plan on Monday.
Mr Johnson has yet to respond to the situation, and Downing Street confirmed to LBC News earlier today he is still on his holiday on the tropical island of Mustique.
The international community has urged for a de-escalation to the tensions in the wake of the killings.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged all parties involved to de-escalate the situation.He said: "We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani.
"Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests."
But perhaps the most damming account of the General was from President Trump himself, who said Soleimani was "both hated and feared within the country" and "should have been taken out years ago."
Speaking on Twitter, Mr Trump said: "General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more...but got caught!
"He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself.
"While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country.
"They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!"
Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the "serious and dangerous escalation" as an "assassination" and called for the UK to stand up to the "belligerent actions" from the US.
He added: "The US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani is an extremely serious and dangerous escalation of conflict in the Middle East with global significance.
"The UK Government should urge restraint on the part of both Iran and the US, and stand up to the belligerent actions and rhetoric coming from the United States.
"All countries in the region and beyond should seek to ratchet down the tensions to avoid deepening conflict, which can only bring further misery to the region, 17 years on from the disastrous invasion of Iraq."