Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei accused the United States of causing wars and destruction in West Asia saying its corrupt presence must be stopped. The 80-year-old religious leader said that elected governments won’t accept the presence of the US which has been involved in the destruction and the demolition of infrastructures in the region.
"They were slapped last night, but such military actions are not enough. The corruptive presence of the US in the West Asian region must be stopped," said the Supreme Leader during a televised address after Iran attacked US bases in Iraq with dozens of ballistic missiles. Khamenei met people of Qom on the anniversary of 1978 uprising which led to the popular Iranian revolution toppling the dictatorship of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The Supreme Leader 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”.
Before Soleimani was buried in Kerman, his hometown, Iran struck back at the United States, hitting its bases 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. Referring to the retaliation, Khamenei said the country has delivered 'slap in face' to the United States.
Reactions from Iran started pouring in just after Tehran launched an offensive on US bases. 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.