In this image taken from video, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei openly weeps as he leads a prayer over the coffin of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone strike on Friday, at the Tehran University campus, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. (Iran Press TV via AP)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday said that the Trump-ordered assassination of Iran’s Quds commander, Qassem Soleimani, was a “cowardice act” which hurt its superpower prestige.

The Americans could not face Soleimani in the battlefield and hit him “furtively,” said Khamenei.

In revenge, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s missiles shower on the U.S. bases in Iraq was also a military “strike” on the U.S. as the superpower, he said.

Besides, the huge turnout of the Iranians and regional people in Soleimani’s funeral ceremony was a “disgrace” for the United States, Khamenei said. “The Iranians as well as the people of regional countries praised Soleimani and set ablaze the U.S. and Israeli flags,” he said. On the funeral ceremony of Soleimani, millions of Iranians displayed their “allegiance” once again to the Islamic republic, he added. The Iranian leader noted that “Soleimani was an anti-terro commander, who is acknowledged by the people of many countries.”

Earlier this month, U.S. airstrike near Baghdad international airport assassinated Soleimani and in retaliation, the IRGC launched multiple missile attacks on the U.S. bases in Iraq.

Khamenei also slammed the recent move by Britain, France and Germany (E3) to trigger dispute resolution mechanism in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

The Iranian authorities should not have trusted these European countries in the nuclear talks as “their negotiations are seasoned with deception,” said Khamenei.

Speaking of the recent Ukrainian passenger plane crash, Khamenei called on the Iran’s authorities to investigate “the painful crash,” adding “it is necessary to seriously prevent the repetition of such disastrous incidents,” while condoling the families of the victims.

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