Even in death, Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani is still sending people to the afterlife.
According to USA Today, the funeral procession of the slain terrorist general that took place in his hometown was attended by over a million people. The congestion of funeral attendees was so thick that a stampede took the lives of around 40 people and injured hundreds:
Iranian state TV reported Tuesday that at least 40 people were killed and 213 injured in a stampede that erupted at a funeral procession for the nation’s slain Gen. Qasem Soleimani in his hometown of Kerman, in southeastern Iran.
A procession in Tehran on Monday drew over 1 million people in Iran’s capital, crowding main thoroughfares and side streets. Emergency services in Kerman blamed high levels of congestion and overcrowding for the tragedy.
It’s unclear just how many deaths Soleimani is responsible for throughout his life, but we can definitely go ahead and chalk all this up to him too. Iranian politicians and the media have joined American politicians and media in elevating this man to near deific status causing something of a frenzy around his death.
As my colleague Elizabeth Vaughn wrote earlier today, MSNBC’s Katy Tur called the funeral a “stunning show of solidarity and giving President Donald Trump — who ordered the drone strike — credit for united Iran.
“A stunning show of solidarity just a few weeks after anti-government protests threatened to destabilize the country. It seems President [Donald] Trump did what the Iranian government has been unable to do: unite the country.”
Of course, all of that is shallow as reports from Iranians indicate that the crowd may be swelled to that size due to various groups and peoples being forced to attend. Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad wrote in the Washington Post that students and state officials were often herded onto buses to attend state-sponsored events in order to make the crows seem larger.
It would be a shame if people died in a stampede at an event they were forced to attend at gunpoint, but that’s Iran for you.