Iran suggests Soleimani revenge attacks will target U.S. troops, maybe Israel

Iran votes to label U.S. forces a terrorist organization
(Image credit: ICANA News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran plans to bury the remains of Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Tuesday, though the funeral was delayed a bit by a stampede of mourners in the southern Iranian town of Kerman, Soleimani's birthplace, that Iranian media said left at least 35 people dead. Interspersed with the mourning were increasingly specific calls for revenge against the U.S., which killed Soleimani last Thursday with a drone strike outside Iraq's Baghdad International Airport.

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Tuesday that Iran has drawn up 13 sets of plans to avenge Soleimani's death, quoting Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, as saying even the least of the scenarios would be a "historic nightmare" for the U.S. "We're aware of their military personnel and equipment" near the Iranian border, he added. "If the U.S. troops do not leave our region voluntarily and upright, we will do something to carry their bodies horizontally out."

In another sign that U.S. forces will be the main target of reprisals, Iran's Parliament voted unanimously Tuesday to designate the entire U.S. military, including the Pentagon brass, as terrorist organizations, state media reported, mirroring the U.S. designation of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization last year. President Trump cited that designation to justify the killing of Soleimani, who led the IRGC's elite Quds Force. Iraq's Parliament also approved $220 million in addition funding for the Quds Force to finance its vengeance campaign.

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The head of the IRGC, Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, told mourners in Kerman on Tuesday that "we will take revenge, we will set fire to the place they love, and they know where that is." The crowd chanted "Death to Israel!" in response. CNN's analysts said early Tuesday that the ultimate form of vengeance Iran is leaning toward is trying to isolate the U.S. in the region and force it to pull out. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.