Iran arrests 'counter-revolutionary agent' suspected of vandalising statue of Qasem Soleimani

Iran arrests 'counter-revolutionary agent' suspected of vandalising statue of Qasem Soleimani
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Iran has arrested a 'counter-revolutionary agent' suspected of carrying out an arson attack on a statue of General Qasem Soleimani.
Qasem Soleimani has become highly venerated since he was killed in 2020 [source: Getty]

Iran has arrested an alleged "counter-revolutionary agent" on suspicion of carrying out an arson attack on a memorial to a revered general killed in a US drone strike, a judicial official said.

The statue of General Qasem Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, up to his death on January 3 2020, was torched just hours after it was unveiled in the southwestern town of Shahrekord last week.

"The perpetrator of this shameful act has been arrested," the judiciary chief of Chahar Mahal-Bakhtiari province, Ahmad-Reza Bahrami, told the judiciary's Mizan news website late Tuesday.

"The provincial courts will punish the perpetrator of this outrage as quickly as possible in accordance with sharia (Islamic law) and the law."

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The unveiling of the statue in Shahrekord was one of a number of commemorative events held last week to mark the second anniversary of Soleimani's assassination.

Portraits of the slain general are ubiquitous in Shia Iran, where Soleimani has been lionised by the authorities for his work overseeing Iranian support to Iraq and Syria in their campaigns against the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State group.