The United States killed Iran’s top general and the architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East in an airstrike in Baghdad Friday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was among the first Friday to react to the assassination of Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani, saying it would strengthen resistance against the United States and Israel in the region and the world, Iranian state television reported.
“The brutality and stupidity of American terrorist forces in assassinating Commander Soleimani … will undoubtedly make the tree of resistance in the region and the world more prosperous,” Zarif said in a statement.
On Twitter he said the assassination of Soleimani was “an extremely dangerous and foolish escalation. The U.S. bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.”
Senators weigh in
In the U.S., Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said President Donald Trump owes a full explanation to Congress and the American people.
“The present authorizations for use of military force in no way cover starting a possible new war. This step could bring the most consequential military confrontation in decades,” Blumenthal said.
But Trump allies were quick to praise the action.
“To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said that while Soleimani was “an enemy of the United States,” the killing could put more Americans at risk.
“One reason we don’t generally (assassinate) foreign political officials is the belief that such action will get more, not less, Americans killed,” Murphy said on Twitter. “That should be our real, pressing and grave worry tonight.”
President Trump is bringing our nation to the brink of an illegal war with Iran with no congressional approval.
Passing our bipartisan amendment to prevent unconstitutional war with Iran is urgent. Congress needs to step in immediately. https://t.co/tBFRwQMp51
— Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) January 3, 2020
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley praised the move on Twitter.
Qassem Soleimani was an arch terrorist with American blood on his hands. His demise should be applauded by all who seek peace and justice. Proud of President Trump for doing the strong and right thing. @realDonaldTrump 🇺🇸
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 3, 2020
Mohsen Rezaei, former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, also took to Twitter, saying that Soleimani “joined his martyred brothers, but we will take vigorous revenge on America,” Rezaei is now the secretary of a powerful state body.
Reuters contributed to this report.