Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei calls missile strike a 'slap in the face' for the US

8 January 2020, 12:10 | Updated: 8 January 2020, 15:30

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Picture: PA
Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

Iran's Supreme Leader has addressed his nation hours after he said the country had "concluded" its attacks against US targets.

Ayatollah Khamenei declared that his country had given America a "slap in the face" after launching ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases containing US troops.

In a televised address from the holy city of Qom, Ayatollah Khamenei said: "Last night we slapped them on the face.

"When it comes to confrontation, military actions of these kinds are not enough.

"The corrupt presence of the US should come to an end." 

He also praised assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, calling him a "great, brave warrior" and a "dear friend to us".

The Supreme Leader also said that the missile launch was not "sufficient revenge" for the assassination, suggesting possible further retaliation.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressing the audience
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressing the audience. Picture: PA

The audience could be seen chanting "Death to America!" and “Death to Israel!” as he spoke, with many people crying as they watched.

The ayatollah also said: "What matters is that the presence of America in the region should come to an end".

He continued by saying that “sitting at the negotiating table” with American envoys would open the door to greater American intervention in the region and that such negotiations therefore must “come to an end.”

“The US enmity toward Iran is not temporary; it’s inherent. It is a ‘gross mistake’ to think if we took a step back and compromised, the US would stop its enmity,” he said.

On Wednesday morning, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani said in his meeting with the council of ministers that his country’s larger regional goal in comments directed at the Americans.

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“You cut off the hand of Qassim Suleimani from his body and we will cut off your feet from the region,” he said.

He then took to Twitter to say: "General Soleimani fought heroically against ISIS, Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al. If it weren’t for his war on terror, European capitals would be in great danger now.

"Our final answer to his assassination will be to kick all US forces out of the region."

His remarks come after President Trump tweeted that "all is well" following the missile strike on Tuesday night.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard have warned the U.S. and its allies against retaliating over the missile attack.

In a statement it said: "We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted."

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