Ali Khamenei, the Grand Ayatollah and supreme leader of Iran, was seen weeping on Monday at the funeral of Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military commander killed in a U.S. air strike last week.
The footage was posted to Twitter on Monday by the Agence France-Presse and showed mourners attending a ceremony for Soleimani held in Tehran.
— Bob Marzulli ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@BobMarzulli) January 6, 2020
Soleimani died in the U.S. drone strike at Baghdad airport along with Iranian-backed Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people mourned Soleimani in the streets of Iran.
Following Iranian-backed Iraqi militia members’ storming of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on New Year’s Eve, President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that Iran would “held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities.”
Khamenei responded the following day in dismissive fashion.
“First of all, you can’t do a damn thing! This has nothing to do with Iran,” he said in a televised address.
Reactions to the footage of Khamenei weeping at Soleimani’s funeral were mixed, with some Twitter users concerned about what the emotional scene suggested about Iran’s potential reaction.
“Everyone should remember this footage… This is symbolic of what is to come. God help us all and may diplomacy prevail! But I’m afraid these tears won’t go unanswered and that it is too late for conversation. I hope I am wrong,” tweeted one commenter.
But other Twitter users were more irreverent.
“Good riddance,” tweeted journalist Frank Chaparro.
You can see how he starts crying after he noticed that’s he’s being recorded
— iurbina (@iurbina5) January 6, 2020
Another commenter expressed a desire for Khamenei to be “next up.”
— Abdullah Faza (@3bdallahfaz3) January 6, 2020
“Imagine the milage Trump will get out of this. The man who made khomeini cry. Uff,” tweeted one Twitter user.
Imagine the milage Trump will get out this. The man who made Khomeini cry.
— Atanu Maulik (@AtanuMaulik) January 6, 2020
Others referenced Khamenei’s taunting of Trump.
“I guess the Ayatollah (@khamenei_ir) found out, the hard way, that @realDonaldTrump actually could do something,” tweeted Michael Lunn.
Khameini isn’t the only Iranian official to publicly express his distress over Soleimani’s death.
Last week, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards spokesman broke down sobbing on live television.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards spokesman Ramadan Sharif breaks down on live TV over the news that Soleimani was killed | pic.twitter.com/lPEHakbvlg
— Mike (@Doranimated) January 3, 2020
Footage uploaded to Twitter over the weekend purported to show the remains of Soleimani being flown back to Iran aboard an economy class flight on Sunday.