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We will end U.S. presence in West Asia: Iran

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the strikes launched by Tehran a ‘slap in the face’ of America

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday the ballistic missiles strikes Iran launched at U.S. troops in Iraq earlier in the day was a “slap in the face” of America.

“An important incident has happened. The question of revenge is another issue,” Mr. Khamenei said in a speech. “Military actions in this form are not sufficient for that issue. What is important is that America’s corrupt presence must come to an end in this region.”

Iran launched over a dozen missiles at al-Asad and Erbil military bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops in retaliation for the killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by the U.S.

President Hassan Rouhani also said that Iran would not “retreat in the face of America”. “If America has committed a crime... it should know that it will receive a decisive response... If they are wise, they won’t take any other action at this juncture.”

“They cut off the hand of our dear Soleimani. The revenge for him is to cut off America’s feet from this region,” Mr. Rouhani added.

The attack emboldened Iran’s allies in Iraq, who ramped up threats to avenge top Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was killed with Soleimani.

We will end U.S. presence in West Asia: Iran
 

Paramilitary chief Qais al-Khazali, who has been blacklisted as a “terrorist” by the U.S., said Iraq was preparing its response for Muhandis’s death. “That response will be no less than the size of the Iranian response. That’s a promise,” he threatened.

The brazenness of the strike was highly unusual for Iran, which has tended to disguise attacks through its use of proxy Shia forces.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:48:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/we-will-end-us-presence-in-west-asia-iran/article30516812.ece

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