Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that his country would deal a blow to America in response to the killing of the prominent commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, adding that his country would not interfere in Baghdad's relationship with Washington.
Khamenei made his threat in Tuesday's meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi, according to the official website of the Iranian guide.
Khamenei told the Iraqi Prime Minister - who is visiting Tehran - that his country will not interfere in Baghdad's relationship with Washington, but he warned that the American presence on the Iranian border is causing security chaos.
Al-Kazemi met Khamenei in Tehran on Tuesday during his first official visit abroad since he took office in May.
Khamenei said that "Iran will not interfere in Iraq’s relations with America, but expects Iraqi friends to know America and realize that its presence in any country causes corruption, destruction and destruction."
He continued, "The Islamic Republic expects to abide by the decision of the (Iraqi) parliament to expel American forces, as their presence is a reason for insecurity."
America and Iran
Khamenei referred to the killing of Soleimani in a US air strike on a plane near Baghdad airport at the beginning of the year, after which the Iraqi parliament requested the withdrawal of US forces. "They killed your guest in your house and rudely admitted that," he said.
He added that Iran "will never forget this and will definitely deliver a retaliatory blow to the Americans."
Tehran responded to the killing of Soleimani by launching ballistic missiles at bases used by American forces in Iraq, knowing that Trump refused to respond militarily to this strike.
The missile attack targeting the al-Asad base in western Iraq did not result in deaths among US forces, but it wounded soldiers with brain tremors.
Khamenei said that Iran opposes "what weakens the Iraqi government," as opposed to Washington, which he said does not want "an independent and strong Iraqi government elected by popular vote."