Press TV, London
Over the past two weeks emotions have been running high but the voice of Iran's Supreme Leader has cut through the uproar, calling for everyone to focus on the long-term goal of expelling the US and its allies from the region.
For the first time in eight years, Ayatollah Khamenei has lead Friday prayers. In his speech he honored the late General Soleimani, praised the Iranian nations’ resolve and expressed great sadness over the downing of the Ukrainian plane that killed 179 people. But he said, our enemies are as happy about the plane crash as we are sad, and are trying to use it and the Iran nuclear deal to undermine our armed forces and overshadow the historic days of the past two weeks.
France has sent aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf in recent days, the UK has sent two warships to purportedly escort its British oil tankers and has given its forces greater firepower in the wake of recent events. A Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles is also in the region at all times.
In his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei reaffirmed the commitment to helping oppressed people in places like Gaza, and reminded the nation that Iran was the prime target.
On the third of January, the US assassinated Iran’s lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani. What followed was an historic turnout of people in Iran and across the globe, enraged and grief-stricken by the loss of a man that had been leading the fight against US intrusion in the region for quite some time. After laying the general to rest, Iran’s revolutionary guard responded with missile attacks on US airbases within Iraq where the assassination took place. The US military has just admitted that it’s soldiers were wounded in the attack, the first on a US base since World War II.