Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei stated here on Wednesday that the corruptive presence of the United States in the region must end.
The Supreme Leader made the remarks here on Wednesday when he received thousands of people from Qom Province on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1978 uprising.
Referring to the Wednesday morning attack on the US bases in Iraq by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Ayatollah stated that "Last night’s action was merely a slap, but the U.S. must leave the region".
Praising the IRGC reciprocal operation to US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq which was carried exactly at the same hour that American forces had targetted the IRGC great commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani, the Leader said it was just a slap.
However, the Leader stressed that the US must leave the region.
The following are excerpts of his remarks as published in his official website Khamenei.ir:
"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."
"The US has caused wars, division, sedition, destruction, and the demolition of infrastructures in this region. Of course, they do this everywhere in the world. This region won’t accept the US presence. Governments elected by nations won’t accept the presence of the US."
"Enemies were humbled by the magnificence of the Iranian nation’s turnout for the funeral of Martyr Soleimani. They may not admit it, but they have no other option but to accept it."
"The lying, rambling US govt – whose words are worthless – tried to introduce this great Mujahid & Commander in the fight against terrorism as a terrorist. The Iranian nation slapped them in the face with their turn out in the millions for the funeral of General Soleimani."
Lieutenant General Soleimani and the acting commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) - known as the Hash al-Shaabi - Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes, separately leaving Baghdad airport in two cars were targeted and assassinated by the US forces on January 3.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, reacting to Gen Soleimani's martyrdom, stressed on January 4 that Iran reserves the right to take revenge by proportionate military action, and will do it.