Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said the country has delivered 'slap in face' to the United States after Tehran launched attacks on American bases in Iraq. Khamenei, in a televised address, said that the US cut off Soleimani’s hand so Iran, in response, will cut their legs off in the region.
Khamenei targeted Israel, a key ally of the US in the region, saying Iran’s main enemies include Washington and the Zionist regime. The Supreme Leader said the military action is enough to end the “corrupt presence” of the US in the region. The 80-year-old religious leader was furious after the killing of top military leader Qassem Soleimani and had vowed to exact revenge “for the criminals who bloodied their foul hands with his blood”.
The latest attack on US bases by Iran has further escalated the tension in the region. Just before Soleimani was buried in Kerman, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq. The US has not revealed the number of casualties yet but Iran’s local media reports claim that around 80 people have been killed in the attacks.
US President Donald Trump surprisingly said “All is well”, adding he will be making a statement on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, Pentagon said that the bases were already on high alert due to Iran’s indication to attack US forces in the region. “As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend US personnel, partners, and allies in the region,” said Pentagon in a statement.
Hours after the attack, Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Bagheri warned the US that Tehran will react with “stronger, more crushing, and broader” response if it tries any new “evil act”. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Tehran took “proportionate measures” in self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.