“Soleimani was a key figure in our bilateral partnership with Russia and showed big respect for Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he had close relationship”, Ali Akbar Velayati said
Former Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps General Qasem Soleimani did much for strengthening strategic cooperation with Russia, foreign policy adviser to the Iranian supreme leader Ali Akbar Velayati said at the general’s farewell ceremony, the Al-Alam TV Channel reported on Monday.
“Soleimani was a key figure in our bilateral partnership with Russia and showed big respect for Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he had close relationship,” the Iranian leader’s top foreign policy adviser said at the general’s farewell ceremony in Tehran.
“If not for the courage displayed by the commander of the Quds Force in most responsible moments, Baghdad would have fallen into the hands of terrorists from the Islamic State [terrorist grouping outlawed in Russia] while Salafi extremists would have come to power in Damascus,” Velayati said.
“By killing General Soleimani, the United States did the most stupid thing and now ‘a second Vietnam’ awaits America, if they do not withdraw their troops from the Middle East,” Velayati stressed.
Hundreds of thousands of people are attending the ceremony of bidding farewell to General Soleimani in Tehran. The ceremony is being led by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is also taking part in it. Soleimani will be buried in his home town of Kerman in south-eastern Iran on January 7.
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