Montreal

Montrealers march in solidarity with Iran, Iraq after U.S. drone strike

Some people participating in the march held signs with pictures of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian commander who was assassinated on Friday.

Participants held signs with pictures of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian commander killed in drone strike

The protesters marched through downtown Montreal Sunday in solidarity with Iran, Iraq, and American antiwar activists. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

About 100 people gathered at Phillips Square Sunday for an anti-war demonstration, days after the U.S. assassination of a key Iranian military leader on Iraqi soil.

Some participants made signs with pictures of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander killed in a drone strike Friday.

Other signs had anti-U.S. slogans and calls to pull troops out of the Middle East.

The protesters made their way through downtown Montreal, marching toward the U.S. Consulate General on Ste-Catherine Street.

 While protesters had varying opinions of Soleimani himself, most were united in their fears of a potential war. 

 "The extrajudicial assassination of an Iranian commander ... will escalate the tension in the Middle East, and that's something people do not need there," said Amir Naimi, a member of Montreal's Iranian community.  

Bijan Jalali, a refugee from Iran who attended the protest, said protesters were portraying a false image of Soleimani, but decried the actions of the U.S. government. 

"Iranians peoples ...  we never ever want wars. We want peace, freedom — basically justice," Jalali said. 

Nassim Noroozi, an Iranian-Canadian, said she's worried the U.S. government will act irrationally. 

"We're not talking to a rational party," said Noroozi. 

"We no longer want war. We've had it one time. It didn't bring prosperity. It didn't bring peace to the region and we don't want to have that again.   

Iran has promised "harsh revenge" for the U.S. drone strike, which killed Soleimani as well as Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and raised the spectre of wider conflict in the Middle East.

The Montreal protest, pictured, was held on the same day as Soleimani's funeral in Iran, which drew thousands of mourners. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Trump has threatened to bomb 52 Iranian sites, including cultural sites, if Iran retaliates by attacking Americans.

Also Sunday, Iraq's parliament passed a resolution telling the government to end the presence of foreign troops in that country.

Many Iraqis, including opponents of Soleimani, have expressed anger at Washington for killing the two men on Iraqi soil and possibly dragging their country into another conflict.

NATO has suspended Canadian-led training of Iraqi forces in the wake of the airstrike, and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada is monitoring the security environment and taking necessary precautions.

with files from Simon Nakonechny, Thomson Reuters and The Associated Press

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