PRESS: The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei
CAIRO – 17 January 2020: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a Friday sermon that Iran's missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq this month delivered a "slap on the face" to the United States.
Khamenei claimed, during the sermon, that iran has the divine’s support.
During a spike in tension, Iran launched missiles at U.S. targets on Jan. 8 in response to a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed Qassem Soleimeni, Iran's most powerful military commander.
"The fact that Iran has the power to give such a slap to a world power shows the hand of God," Khamenei said, after referring to the launch of missiles against U.S. targets as a "day of God". His comments were met by chants of "Death to America!".
Tehran has been sponsoring and funding the existence of armed militias and paramilitary troops in a number of Arab countries, including Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, with utmost loyalty to Iran and its interests in the region and the Arab gulf.
Khamenei also called “bitter” plane tragedy should not overshadow Soleimani's 'sacrifice'.
"We request all sides not to make human issues, particularly this tragic accident, into an excuse for political gestures," Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
Five countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down the airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and that the world was watching for its response.
Mousavi said Iran had cooperated "beyond expectations" with countries whose citizens were killed in the crash, according to ISNA.
Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain also said after a meeting of officials in London that Iran should hold a "thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations".
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards admitted accidentally shooting down the Ukrainian airliner with a missile, killing all 176 aboard.