PRETORIA, The Embassy of Iran in Pretoria on Thursday expressed “gratitude” to South African political parties and civil society movements for always standing with us during hard times.

The Iranian mission released the statement after hundreds of South African groups gathered at the United States Embassy in Pretoria, pledging solidarity with Iran, and protesting in condemnation of the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq earlier this month.

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pretoria wishes to extend its warmest praises to our dear South African comrades, brothers and sisters who are always standing with us during the hard times. Special thanks to the ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO which showed again today their solidarity with the people of Iran. During the hard times real friends expose their true friendship, the embassy said in the statement.

Together, we can overcome imperialism. There must be an end to economic and military terrorism of the USA against independent entities and we the comrades, brothers and sisters can make that end sooner. Power lies with the people not with the gun, victory is for humanity not for terrorism.

The embassy added that the historic and friendly relations of the people and states of Iran and South Africa, which started during the fight against apartheid will continue as strong as ever.

During the protest, Sheikh Shuaib Booley, the chairperson of the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Council of South Africa, said: The Americans are the biggest terrorists around the world. They committed terrorism against Cuba, Venezuela, and many other countries in South America. Now they have decided that the Middle East is their home base. Our message is that there is no home for you, otherwise you will go home in your coffins. Very soon, you will hear a slogan of ‘one bullet one American’,” to which the crowd cheered.

Booley also led the crowd in chanting Allahu Akbar as embassy employees watched from a distance. He was later stopped by officials before he could enter the building as part of a delegation set to hand over a memorandum.

Also at the protest was South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary-general Solly Mapaila, who said his organisation and alliance partners would be taking part in rolling mass action to protest US meddling in the region.

The entire alliance movement will be organising a series of activities here at the US Embassy (in Pretoria), at their offices in Durban, at their offices in Cape Town, and in Johannesburg.

“We will be [taking part in] rolling mass action activities across the board until the USA leaves the Middle East. It must withdraw its entire force out of the Middle East, said Mapaila while addressing the crowd.

Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) were closely guarding the embassy premises as the crowd of mainly SACP, Cosatu and ANC members denounced president Donald Trump.

Source: African News Agency