Funeral of Qasem Soleimani

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Funeral of Qasem Soleimani
Mourners at Azadi Square, Tehran, Iran
Funeral of Soleimani in Ahvaz, Iran

The funeral of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was held from 4 to 7 January 2020 in some cities in Iraq and Iran – including Baghdad, Karbala, Najaf, Ahvaz, Mashhad, Tehran, Qom, and his hometown Kerman. The funeral ceremony of Soleimani in Tehran was described as "the largest in Iran since the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini", founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in 1989.[1][2][3]

On 7 January 2020, a stampede took place at the burial procession in Kerman, killing at least 56 mourners and injuring over 200.[4] Consequently, Soleimani's burial was delayed due to the massive crowds.[4][5]

His body was buried in his hometown of Kerman on Wednesday, 8 January, just hours after Iran attacked two US bases in Iraq.[6][7]


On 5 January, a funeral procession for Qasem Soleimani was held in Baghdad with thousands of mourners in attendance, waving militia and Iraqi flags[8] and chanting "death to America, death to Israel".[9] The procession started at the Al-Kadhimiya Mosque in Baghdad. Iraq's prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, and leaders of Iran-backed militias attended the funeral procession.[10] Soleimani's remains were taken to the holy Shia cities of Karbala and Najaf.[11]


Mashhad and Ahvaz[edit]

Iranian State TV estimated that there were millions of mourners in Mashhad and Ahvaz on 5 January.[1]

Tehran and Qom[edit]

Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials mourn Soleimani

CNN described the number of mourners who participated in the Tehran funeral with "a sea of people" on Monday. Iranian State TV reported estimates of millions of mourners there. The mourners had Soleimani's photos in their hands, screamed "down with the USA" and "death to the USA".[12] Satellite imagery showed that gathered people stretched from "Azadi Square and for nearly 6 kilometres [3.7 miles] along Azadi Street in central Tehran". Associated Press journalists estimated "a turnout of at least 1 million" in Tehran.[1] Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prayed over Soleimani's body during the funeral ceremony alongside President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and other officials. General Ismail Qaani cried over his coffin.[12]


The grave of Qasem Soleimani, Kerman

According to France24, the number of mourners attending the funeral procession in Kerman, Tehran, Qom, Mashhad, and Ahvaz were roughly the same.[13] BBC stated that there were widespread chants of "death to America" and "death to Trump".[14] During Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 funeral procession, eight people were killed in a stampede, also caused in part due to difficulty in containing the massive crowd.[15]

Soleimani had asked prior to his death to be buried next to his wartime comrade Mohammad-Hossein Yousefollahi.[16] He asked for a simple gravestone "similar to [his] shahid comrades" and with the inscription "Private Qassem Soleimani" (سرباز قاسم سلیمانی), without any honorific title.[17][18]

Stampede and burial cancellation[edit]

On 7 January 2020, a stampede crush took place at the burial procession for Soleimani in Kerman, killing at least 56 mourners and injuring more than 200.[4] Head of the burial committee Mehdi Sadafi told the state-run ISNA news agency that Soleimani's burial was cancelled after the deaths.[4]


Commenting on photos of the huge crowds in Tehran's funeral, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Javad Zarif tweeted: "Do you still imagine you can break the will of this great nation and its people? End of malign US presence in West Asia has begun."[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rogers, James. "Satellite images show Soleimani funeral crowds thronging streets of Tehran". Foxnews. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  2. ^ Fassihi, Farnaz; Kirkpatrick, David D. "Khamenei Wants to Put Iran's Stamp on Reprisal for U.S. Killing of Top General". nytimes. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  3. ^ Birnbaum, Michael; Cunningham, Erin; Dadouch, Sarah. "Soleimani's funeral procession in Iran sees massive crowds and calls for revenge". washington post. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Safi, Michael (7 January 2020). "Iran: dozens dead in crush at Suleimani burial procession". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  5. ^ Yeung, Jessie. "Soleimani buried in hometown hours after Iran retaliation". CNN. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  6. ^ Yeung, Jessie. "Soleimani buried in hometown hours after Iran retaliation". CNN. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  7. ^ "FarsNews Agency - Mythical Gen. Soleimani Buried After Reprisal". Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Qasem Soleimani: Mourners gather in Baghdad for funeral procession". BBC News. 4 January 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  9. ^ O'Brien, Amy (4 January 2020). "Thousands march in Baghdad funeral procession for Qassem Suleimani—video". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  10. ^ Safi, Michael (4 January 2020). "Qassem Suleimani: chants of 'death to America' at Baghdad funeral". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  11. ^ Ibrahim, Arwa. "'You never let us down': Thousands mourn Soleimani in Baghdad". aljazeera. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Berlinger, Joshua; Mackintosh, Eliza. "Iranians mourn slain general". CNN. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Thousands in Iran gather to mourn as Soleimani's body arrives in hometown of Kerman". France24. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Stampede kills 50 at Soleimani's burial in Iran". 7 January 2020 – via
  15. ^ "Stampede kills 56 at funeral for Iranian general slain by US". Star Tribune. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  16. ^ "کرمان| وصیت‌نامه سردار سلیمانی در مورد سنگ مزارش چه بود؟+ تصویر- اخبار استانها - اخبار تسنیم - Tasnim". خبرگزاری تسنیم - Tasnim.
  17. ^ "طبق وصیت‌نامه، سنگ مزار سردار سلیمانی را آماده خواهیم کرد". ایسنا. 4 January 2020.
  18. ^ "توضیحات مدیر بنیاد شهید کرمان درباره سنگ مزار شهید سلیمانی | نظر همسر سردار چیست؟". همشهری آنلاین. 4 January 2020.

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