General Esmail Ghaani spoke at a ceremony for his inauguration as the new IRGC Qods Force commander, replacing General Qasem Soleimani who was killed by the U.S. The ceremony was attended by Soleimani's family and the officials of Iran's armed forces. Excerpts from the speech were aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV on January 20, 2020. In his speech, General Esmail Ghaani said that "the enemy" turned Qasem Soleimani into a martyr "in the most despicable way" instead of facing him on the battlefield. General Ghaani said that with the efforts of "all free men around the world who wish to avenge his blood" the Qods Force will strike Soleimani's enemy in a "heroic way."
General Esmail Ghaani: "The enemy has turned Soleimani into a martyr in a despicable way. They did not behave like real men in the battlefield. They did not confront him in the battlefield. They turned him into a martyr in the most despicable way. They hit him in a despicable way. But by the grace of God, and with the efforts of all the free men around the world who wish to avenge his blood, we will strike his enemy in a heroic way, inshallah."