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Iranian leaders promise 'harsh revenge' for Soleimani's death, identify 35 'vital targets' for attack

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'There will be harsh revenge'

ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images

Top Iranian leaders are promising swift retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top terrorism architect.

In fact, Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh, a senior Revolutionary Guards leader, has already identified nearly three dozen "vital American targets" in the region that are vulnerable to retaliatory attacks.

"The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there ... vital American targets in the region have been identified by Iran since long time ago ... some 35 U.S. targets in the region as well as Tel Aviv are within our reach," Abuhamzeh said on Friday, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, promised "harsh revenge" for Soleimani's death, calling the airstrike that killed him "an act of war on the part of the United States against the Iranian people."

Speaking with CNN, Ravanchi said the U.S. "started a military war by assassinating, by an act of terror, against one of our top generals."

"We cannot just close our eyes to what happened last night," Ravanchi said. "Definitely there will be revenge. There will be harsh revenge. Iran will act based on its own choosing. The time and place will be decided by Iran."

President Donald Trump said he ordered the airstrike because Soleimani was plotting "imminent" attacks against American troops and allies in the region. Ravanchi, however, denied the allegation, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also made.

During a funeral procession in Baghdad on Saturday, thousands of mourners chanted "America is the Great Satan," the Associated Press reported.

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