EghtesadOnline: Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei stressed that military action against the United States is not sufficient in reprisal for the assassination of the top Iranian commander and the "corruptive presence" of America in the region must end.
Addressing a group of people from the holy city of Qom, the Leader said, "Nations of the region and the governments arising from those nations without a doubt will not accept the persistence of America's corruptive presence," Leader.ir reported.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps launched missiles at the US positions in Iraq early Wednesday in retaliation for the assassination of Martyr Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of IRGC's Quds Force, in Baghdad on Friday, according to Financial Tribune.
The missiles were launched on the Ain al-Asad airbase that hosts US-led coalition troops in the western Anbar Province and a base in the Iraqi Kurdish capital Erbil, according to Reuters.
Following Soleimani and his companion's martyrdom, the Leader had vowed a "crushing revenge" on the US.
He described last night's attack as a "slap" in the face of the US, stressing that Iran's ultimate revenge involves American troops' complete withdrawal.
"The presence of Americans in the region must end," he said.
The American presence in this region and elsewhere in the world, according to him, has brought nothing but war, conflict and destruction, and they want the same corruption and devastation for Iran.
The Leader hailed the Iranian Parliament for unanimously passing an emergency motion to designate the US Army and the Pentagon terrorist organizations. He also praised the Iraqi Parliament's resolution on Sunday, calling on the government in Baghdad to expel foreign troops from the country.
President Hassan Rouhani also said in a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning that the US expulsion would be "the ultimate revenge" of regional nations.
No Nuclear Talks
Ayatollah Khamenei later ruled out any resumption of talks with Washington about the 2015 nuclear deal.
"The issue of negotiation and sitting at the [negotiating] table is a prelude for such intervention and presence … To assume that if we take one step backward and compromise to some extent, they will end their hostility is a huge mistake," he said, adding that the US hostility is deep-rooted and not transitory.
The US has been calling for negotiation with Iran over a range of issues after its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its imposition of maximum pressure on Tehran. Iran has refused to engage in direct talks and stressed that any negotiation within the framework of the Joint Commission of the deal's parties would take place when all US sanctions are lifted.
In a statement after the retaliatory attack, IRGC warned the US that any repeated invasion or provocation would be met with a "stronger and more painful" response, ISNA reported.
It addressed American allies hosting the US military in the region, saying they will be targeted if they serve as a launching point for hostile measures against Iran.
The statement also notified that Iran will not consider the Israeli regime separate from the US with regard to the American crimes.
It later advised the American people to push for the withdrawal of troops from the region to prevent further loss and threat against the military personnel's lives.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet later that "Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched."
The article recognizes the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the UN Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
"We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression," Zarif added.
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi stressed that "while the Islamic Republic of Iran does not seek war, it seriously warns against any further military adventurism against it".
Takht-Ravanchi noted that Iran will take “all necessary and proportionate measures against any threat or use of force in accordance with its inherent right under Article 51 of the UN Charter to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to fully secure its national interests”.
The letter also called on the international community to demand that the US "put an end to its continued unlawful and destabilizing measures in such a volatile region as the Middle East, particularly by withdrawing all its forces from the region".