Tehran Times – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said the United States’ attacks on al-Hashd al-Shaabi was an act of retaliation against the forces for beating the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group. “See what they (the Americans) are doing in Iraq and Syria. They are taking vengeance on Hashd al-Shaabi for Daesh,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on Wednesday. He was delivering a speech to a group of Iranian nurses on the National Nurse Day, which marks the birth anniversary of Lady Zeinab, granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Leader explained that Hashd al-Shaabi had crushed Daesh, which was created and backed by the Americans, in different areas. “Now they are taking vengeance,” he reiterated. “The Iranian government, nation and I strongly condemn this malicious act by America,” he added. On Sunday, U.S. forces conducted drone strikes on a number of Kata’ib Hezbollah bases in Iraq’s western Anbar province, killing at least 25 individuals and leaving another 51 injured, according to PMU. Following the strikes, the Pentagon issued a statement saying that it had targeted three locations of the PMU forces in Iraq and two in Syria in response to alleged attacks targeting American forces.
Baghdad and Tehran condemned the attacks
Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned the attacks as being unacceptable and damaging for the country, adding that the strikes were contrary to security agreements inked between Baghdad and Washington, according to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).
On Tuesday, dozens of protesters broke into the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after smashing the main door and setting fire to a reception area. The embassy was evacuated as many angry Iraqi demonstrators gathered outside the gates of the compound to condemn Washington’s attack. The protesters chanted “Death to America” and burned the U.S. flag.
The protesters further held up signs calling for the U.S. mission to be shut down and for the parliament to order U.S. forces to leave Iraq. U.S. President Donald Trump accused Iran of being behind an attack on the U.S. embassy in Iraq, saying the U.S. will hold Iran “fully responsible”.
“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq,” Trump said via Twitter on Tuesday. “They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!” he added.
Quoting Ayatollah Khamenei’s Wednesday remarks, his Twitter account, which is run by his office, responded to Trump in a series of tweets. “That guy has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad & we will respond to Iran. 1st: You can’t do anything. 2nd: If you were logical —which you’re not— you’d see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan… have made nations hate you,” @khamenei_ir tweeted. “If the Islamic Republic decides to challenge & fight, it will do so unequivocally. We’re not after wars, but we strongly defend the Iranian nation’s interests, dignity, & glory. If anyone threatens that, we will unhesitatingly confront & strike them,” read another tweet.
Khamenei talks about protests in Iran
In his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei also addressed the widespread protests across Iran in November 2019, saying, “People have economic demands, mostly rightful ones. In recent events, people had demands, but the enemy had prepared agents to cause sedition. It used the opportunity to harm the country. With their insight and astuteness, people withdrew and the seditionists were left alone,” he added.
Protests erupted in Iran on November 15 after the government announced an increase in the price of gasoline, a subsidized commodity that is still cheaper in Iran than other countries in the world. Rioters damaged public and private property and put banks, gas stations, and state buildings on fire. Soon after the protests erupted, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported the government’s decision and condemned any act of sabotage carried out by some “hooligans” and supported by Iran’s enemies.
“You see in the past two days, all the centers of evil in the world have been encouraging such acts against us. From the sinister Pahlavi dynasty to the vicious and criminal gang of Monafeqin (the MEK terrorist group); they are constantly encouraging hooliganism via the internet and other means,” the Leader stated at the time.
Ayatollah Khamenei urged the authorities to take good care of the affected people and assuage the hardship caused by the move. He also called on the people to take note of the enemies’ plots to disrupt Iran’s security and take a separate path from the rioters that try to foment insecurity in the country.