TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has publicly wept presiding over a vast public funeral procession in Tehran for Qassem Suleimani, the powerful general killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad on Friday.
Khamenei’s voice cracked with emotion as he recited prayers over the casket of Suleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, as well as others killed in the attack, which has drastically raised tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Roads across the city were blocked by heavy traffic as hundreds of thousands of mourners thronged the area around Tehran University before the procession made its way towards Azadi (Freedom) Square on Monday morning.
State media said millions of people had poured on to the streets of the Iranian capital. The scale of the crowds shown on television appeared to be the biggest since the funeral in 1989 of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.