At Meeting With Iraqi Leader, Iran’s Khamenei Vows ‘Reciprocal Blow’ to US for Soleimani Killing
Iran’s ruler used the occasion of the Iraqi prime minister’s visit to Tehran on Tuesday to remind his guest that Iran expected its neighbor to “know that the US presence in any country brings corruption and destruction.”
In a series of posts on Twitter, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — the 81-year-old “supreme leader” of the Islamic Republic — declared that his regime wanted Iraq to “expel the US.”
Khamenei met on Tuesday with Mustafa al-Kadhimi — the former chief of Iraq’s national intelligence service whose appointment as prime minister in May ended a six-month-long political crisis in Iraq.
Kadhimi has been under pressure from the Iranians, who perceive him as overly pro-American — a concern underscored by the new prime minister’s intention to curb the power of Tehran-backed paramilitaries and political parties in Iraq.
The Iranian leader also addressed the assassination in January this year of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani — the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) — in a US air strike on his convoy near Baghdad International Airport. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a pro-Iran Shi’a political leader and military commander, was also killed in the strike.
“The US’s crime in assassinating General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis is an example of the US’s presence,” Khamenei wrote. “They killed your guest in your home, and they blatantly confessed to this crime. This is not a trivial matter.”
Khamenei then warned the US that a comeuppance for Soleimani’s death was in the works.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget the martyrdom of Hajj Qasem Soleimani and will definitely strike a reciprocal blow to the US,” he wrote.
The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget the martyrdom of Hajj Qasem Soleimani and will definitely strike a reciprocal blow to the US.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) July 21, 2020