Missile strike a ‘slap on the face’ for US: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Tehran, Jan 08: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the missile attack on US targets in Iraq was "a slap on the face" for the US, and it should now pull its forces out of the region.
Khamenei in a televised speech described the missile strikes as a "slap on the face" for Washington. "This region will not accept the presence of America," the leader added.
"Military action like this is not sufficient. What is important is ending the corrupting presence of America in the region," he added.
General Soleimani, who was considered a terrorist by the US, was killed when a drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the Baghdad International Airport on Friday last week.
The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and some local Iran-backed militias.
Khamenei has vowed revenge against the killing of his general, saying "severe revenge awaits the criminals" behind the attack.
Soleimani was widely seen as the second most powerful figure in Iran after the Supreme Leader Khamenei. His Quds Force, an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, reported directly to the Khamenei and he was hailed as a heroic national figure.