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Shamkhani hails epic anti-US rallies in Baghdad

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council praised the Iraqi people’s massive turnout to the anti-US rallies that were held in Baghdad on Friday, saying Washington should await new displays of regional power.

Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, in a statement, commended the Iraqi government, parliament, and nation for the epic demonstrations to deplore the US’ illegal military presence in the country.

He described the rally as a sign of Iraqis’ pioneering role in the expulsion of the Americans from the region.

Shamkhani said the Iraqis rallying in million showed that the US’ threat of sanctions has become nothing but a fruitless effort, which cannot undermine the will and unity of the nations that pursue their national sovereignty and independence.

“The countdown to the US’ expulsion from the region started on the early hours of Friday, January 3, and Washington is getting closer to the end of its presence in the region day by day,” he added.

The top Iranian security official was referring to the US assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes on January 3.

On January 5, the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all foreign forces after the US assassination of Iran’s senior Iranian and Iraqi commanders.

On January 7, Iran’s IRGC targeted the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq after launching a wave of attacks to retaliate the terrorist move.

Today’s massive rally came after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations”.

Sadr issued a statement on Friday calling for US bases to be shut down and Iraqi airspace closed to US warplanes and surveillance aircraft.

He warned that US presence in the country will be dealt with as an occupying force if Washington does not agree with Iraqi demands to withdraw for the country.

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