Iran’s armed forces have valiantly defended their country against the United States, which has not yet been fully held accountable for its killing of General Qassem Soleimani, President Hassan Rouhani has said.
In a televised speech, Rouhani praised his country’s military for having “stood firm” against the US, state media reported. He said that notable advances have been made in Iran’s air defense capabilities, and that the Islamic Republic now boasts a strong military deterrence.
The Iranian leader also pledged to take further faction to avenge the US assassination of Soleimani, who was killed by a targeted drone strike in Baghdad in January.
“The Americans assassinated our great commander. We have responded to that terrorist act and will respond to it,” Rouhani said.
In retaliation to the US assassination, Iran launched two volleys of ballistic missiles against two facilities in Iraq where US troops were based. The Pentagon initially claimed that the strikes resulted in no US or coalition causalities. The US military later acknowledged that more than 100 service members had suffered brain injuries in the attack.
Earlier this month, two US servicemen and one Royal Army member died in a rocket attack near Baghdad. Washington has blamed the incident on an Iran-backed militia.
Tehran responded to the allegation by urging the United States to accept the consequences of its “illegal” presence in the country. Tehran has previously stated that it would avenge Soleimani by forcing the US military out of the region.