General Qassem Soleimani photographed in 2016, in Tehran.
Shortly after the explosions, rescuers were working on site. Numerous ambulances were also on scene.
Qassem Soleimani led the Quds Force, the external operations arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, overseeing military operations throughout the Middle East.
Declared a living martyr by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while still alive, Soleimani was considered a hero for his role in the defeat of the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.
In the eyes of many Iranians, its military and strategic prowess helped avert disintegration multi-ethnic group from neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
Long considered a sworn enemy of the United States United and their allies, Soleimani has been one of the region's most important power brokers, setting Iran's political and military agenda in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, observers say. .