During a televised speech on Monday, Mr Raisi said: “If Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge.” Soleimani was killed in Iraq in a drone strike ordered by then-president Mr Trump on January 3, 2019.
Also on Monday, two armed drones were shot down as they approached an Iraqi military base hosting US forces near Baghdad’s international airport, Iraqi security sources said, adding that nobody was hurt in the incident.
Commenting on the attack, which did not result in any casualties, an official of the US-led international military coalition said the base’s defence system had engaged “two fixed-wing suicide drones. They were shot down without incident”.
The official said in a brief statement: “This was a dangerous attack on a civilian airport.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack although armed groups which some Iraqi officials say are backed by Iran have claimed responsibility for similar incidents in the past.
Footage provided by the coalition official showed what the official said was debris of two fixed-wing drones destroyed in the attack, with writing clearly visible on the wing of one drone reading “Soleimani’s revenge”.
Soleimani, head of an elite overseas unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was killed along with Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in a US drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.
Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition that has been battling the Houthis for more than six years.
The alliance has accused the Houthis of attacking shipping in the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest maritime lanes leading to the Suez Canal.
The ship was hijacked off the western Yemeni port of Hodeidah, the coalition said.
The Houthis’ military spokesman said the vessel was carrying military equipment and engaged in “hostile acts targeting the security and stability of the Yemeni people”.
SPA said it was carrying equipment from a shuttered field hospital.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said late on Sunday it had received reports of an attack on a vessel near Yemen’s port of Ras Isa, which lies slightly north of Hodeidah, and an investigation was under way.
It was not immediately clear if it was the same attack.
In an advisory issued at 9.50 pm GMT, 12.50 am local time, UKMTO – part of the Royal Navy – advised mariners to exercise extreme caution in the area.
It put the vessel’s position at roughly 23 nautical miles west of Ras Isa oil terminal in the Red Sea.