The assassination of top Iranian military Gen. Qassem Soleimani has sparked fears of war between the United States and Iran, and public threats have been exchanged between Donald Trump and leaders of the Western Asia country. Within this chaos, several dozen Iranian-Canadians reportedly celebrated the death of Soleimani in Toronto on Friday, chanting “regime change in Iran” and “we support uprising in Iran,” The Canadian Press reports.
According to Hamid Gharajeh, a spokesman for the Iran Democratic Association of Canada, the killing of Soleimani has created a “great world.”
“I feel wonderful because we really think this is long overdue,” he added.
Other attendees of the rally expressed their hopes that the death would pave the way for regime change in Iran.
“We want peace in the region, not terrorism,” said Sara Fallah, the director of the International Coalition of Women Against Fundamentalism.
“Anyone who cares about human rights should be against terrorism and celebrating the death of Soleimani.”
Behza Matin says that his first reaction to the news of Soleimani’s death was to dance.
“I was so happy to see this man killed… I have to tell you, I had the greatest sleep last night.”
Reaction among Iraqi lawmakers has been a stark contrast. On Sunday, the Iraqi parliament voted to pass a resolution to expel all U.S. troops from the country and also filed a complaint with the United Nations against the U.S. for the recent drone strike.
“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason,” the resolution read, per CNBC.
Soleimani’s funeral procession reportedly went to a Shiite shrine in Baghdad before moving toward Baghdad’s Green Zone. Thousands of mourners allegedly joined the march and chanted “Death to America.” The death is expected to lead to retaliatory attacks on the U.S., with Iranian General Hossein Dehghan claiming that Iran will undoubtedly take aim at the U.S military and military sites.
The first station for #Soleimani’s funeral was #Ahvaz, the funeral continues in #Mashhad, then #Tehran, #Qom, and #Kerman… probably this is the biggest ever funeral in the history of #Iran pic.twitter.com/ngpCAUYDfH
— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) January 5, 2020
Dehghan urged the U.S. not to respond to such attacks. He accused the country of being the catalyst for the war and warned America not to continue the cycle. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani also responded to Soleimani’s death with warnings of attacks both now and continuing into the future.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has attempted to quell the chaos, calling on Iranians to stand up to their government. Holly Dagres, an editor of IranSource, believes that such a call will likely fall on deaf ears as Iranians focus more on the possibility of war.