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Farewell, Commander

Monday, January 6, 2020

Eyes were moist and hearts were heavy as people marched in unison from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square, two iconic landmarks of Tehran, with the caskets of martyrs draped in their national flags perched atop floral minibusses.

All the streets connecting to the Enghelab-Azadi stretch were teeming with young and old mourners wearing black dresses and carrying posters and placards of Gen. Soleimani and his long-time aide Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi.

Interestingly, it was the first time someone was honored with a multi-city funeral ceremony in Iran since the death of the architect of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini. After funeral processions in the Iraqi cities of Kadhimiya, Najaf, and Karbala, the martyrs were taken to Ahvaz, Mashhad, and Tehran. On Tuesday, Gen. Soleimani will be buried at a local cemetery in his hometown Kerman.

Top Iranian political and military officials have also made strong statements over the past few days. Moderate and conservative politicians have closed ranks to form a common front against the enemies.