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Iran cancels 'overwhelmingly huge' Tehran ceremony honouring Soleimani

Millions of people showed up to honour Soleimani in Iran's Ahvaz [Twitter]

Date of publication: 5 January, 2020

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Iran has cancelled a procession to honour Qasem Soleimani in Mashhad because too many people were set to attend.
Iran has cancelled a Tehran ceremony on Sunday night to honour slain general Qasem Soleimani due to an overwhelming turnout by mourners in second city Mashhad, the Revolutionary Guards said.

"Considering the glorious, intense and million-man presence of the revolutionary people of Mashhad in the ceremony to bid farewell to Islam and Iran's great general Qasem Soleimani and since the program is still continuing... it is not possible to hold the event in Tehran," the Guards said.

The statement called on people to attend a ceremony scheduled to take place at Tehran University on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, a tide of mourners flooded the Iranian city of Ahvaz weeping and beating their chests in homage to Soleimani.

Soleimani was killed at the age of 62 in a US drone strike on Friday near Baghdad airport, shocking the Islamic republic.

The attack was ordered by President Donald Trump, who said the Quds commander had been planning an "imminent" attack on US diplomats and American forces in Iraq.

Comment: Soleimani assassination spells trouble for Iraqis, Iranians and the region

Soleimani's assassination ratcheted up tensions between arch-enemies Tehran and Washington and sparked fears of a new Middle East war.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed "severe revenge" and declared three days of mourning.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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