Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has given his first reaction to the death of top military commander Qasem Soleimani saying the strike was a "cowardly act" and "another sign of America's frustration and helplessness in the region.”
Rouhani, like other top Iran officials, also vowed retaliation for his death. “Undoubtedly, the great nation of Iran and other free nations of the region will take revenge for this terrible crime by the criminal Americans," he said in a public statement published by Iran’s official news agency.
Rouhani also honored Soleimani’s accomplishments, calling him a hero of Iranian history who defended against terrorism.
“I condemn this cruel act but at the same time honor the brilliant service of this brave and enduring hero of Iran's history who defended the country's territorial integrity and led the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region.”
The President then extended his condolences to the Supreme Leader, commander-in-chief, the people of Iran, the Revolutionary Guards, the victims’ loved ones, and especially Soleimani’s family, the statement read.
The Pentagon said Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members, and the wounding of thousands more.
The Pentagon also blamed the Iranian general for orchestrating attacks on coalition bases in Iraq in recent months, including an attack on December 27 that culminated in the deaths of an American contractor and Iraqi personnel.