Tensions rise as Iran general's funeral is held

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) weeping as he recites a prayer in front of the coffin of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in Teheran on Jan 6, 2020.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) weeping as he recites a prayer in front of the coffin of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in Teheran on Jan 6, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

In a rare display of emotion from the typically reserved and measured Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cried openly yesterday at the funeral of slain Major-General Qassem Soleimani, with whom he shared a deep bond.

The killing of Maj-Gen Soleimani, architect of Iran's drive to extend its influence, has stoked concern that a broader regional conflict could erupt. Iran has abandoned the remaining limits of the 2015 nuclear deal in response to the US air strike on the general.

Oil extended its gains, briefly surpassing US$70 a barrel in London. In stock markets, European indexes followed Asia lower and Wall Street appeared set for sizeable falls at the open. Gold climbed as much as 2.3 per cent to US$1,588.13 an ounce.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2020, with the headline 'Tensions rise as Iran general's funeral is held'. Print Edition | Subscribe