Iran Vows Revenge at Funeral for Commanders Killed in Israeli Airstrike

Iran vowed to avenge Israel’s killing of senior commanders and other officers of its elite Quds Force, at a public funeral held on Friday for the dead men, but left open how it would retaliate and when.

“Our brave men will punish the Zionist regime,” General Hossein Salami, the commander in chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, told the crowd attending the funeral in Tehran. “We warn that no act by any enemy against our holy system will go unanswered and the art of the Iranian nation is to break the power of empires.”

On Monday, Israel conducted an airstrike on a building that is part of the Iranian embassy complex in Damascus, Syria, killing three generals and four other officers of the Quds Force. The force, an arm of the Revolutionary Guards, conducts military and intelligence operations outside Iran, often working closely with allies that are sworn enemies of Israel and the United States, including Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas.

Iran’s president, Ibrahim Raisi, and the commander in chief of the Quds Force, General Ismail Ghaani — who was dressed in civilian black clothes and not in uniform — marched with the crowd of mourners in Tehran on Friday, state media footage showed. Also present were leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group that took part in the Hamas-led Oct. 7 assault on Israel, and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, one of the Iran-backed Shia militias in Iraq.

The coffins of the slain men, draped with the flag of Iran and placed on the back of trucks adorned with flowers and green leaves, slowly snaked their way along a long road in downtown Tehran where thousands of people had gathered.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, delivered a video speech that was broadcast in Iran and in Lebanon during the funeral. He said that a response from Iran could come at any time — possibly in a day, or maybe in a month — because Iran was in no hurry.

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