Iranian Khamenei says the United States is being expelled from Iraq, Syria
Iran’s top leader said on Sunday that the United States would be expelled from Iraq and Syria, saying even Washington’s allies “hated” it.
The United States “will not stay in Iraq or Syria, so it must retreat and certainly be expelled,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on his official website.
Both the United States and Iran have been heavily influenced by the Syrian conflicts – Tehran has supported the Damascus regime, while Washington has supported the Kurds against the Islamic State Group – and both have been major geopolitical players in Iraq since the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
“The leaders of some of his American allies … hate American statesmen and the government, don’t trust them and are indifferent to them,” Khamenei added during a video conference with university students.
He argued that the reason for this was what the United States had done “warfare”, aid to infamous governments, training terrorists, unconditional support for the growing repression of the Zionist regime, and the recent horrific treatment of the coronavirus.
Both countries have been hit hard by COVID-19, the United States has the highest number of deaths in the world, and Iran is struggling with the deadliest outbreak in the Middle East.
Tensions among arch enemies have intensified since 2018 when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from a milestone nuclear deal and reintroduced sanctions against the Iranian economy.
They appear to have been close to a direct military confrontation twice since June last year when Iran fired an American drone in the Gulf.
On this occasion, Trump stopped the retaliatory airstrikes at the last minute.
Trump also chose in January not to take any military action after Iran fired a missile at U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.
Iran launched the missiles after the U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport killed Qasem Soleimani, head of the Revolutionary Guard’s foreign operations army, the Quds Force.