Iran can take fight beyond its borders, Khamenei says after U.S. strike, unrest – By Parisa Hafezi (Reuters) / Jan 17 2020
DUBAI (Reuters) – The Revolutionary Guards can take their fight beyond Iran’s borders, the supreme leader said on Friday, responding to the U.S. killing of a top general and to unrest at home over the accidental downing of an airliner.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gestures as he delivers Friday prayers sermon, in Tehran, Iran January 17, 2020. Official Khamenei website/Handout via REUTERS
In his first Friday prayers sermon in eight years, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also told thousands of Iranians who chanted “Death to America” that European states could not be trusted after they launched a nuclear agreement dispute mechanism.
The measure could lead to U.N. sanctions being reimposed.
“Resistance must continue until the region is completely freed from the enemy’s tyranny,” Khamenei said, in a reference to the United States that renewed his call for U.S. troops to leave neighboring Iraq and the wider Middle East.
Washington’s withdrawal in 2018 from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers and the reimposition of U.S. sanctions has triggered an escalation in tensions over several months that briefly led to open conflict in January.
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the killing in a drone strike on Jan. 3 of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for expanding Iran’s influence abroad. He built up regional militias that Washington has blamed for attacks on U.S. forces.
Iran responded with missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq on Jan. 8, injuring although not killing U.S. troops.