US soldiers prepare unserviceable ammunition to be destroyed through a controlled detonation at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq

Attack On US Troops A 'Blow To America's Image' Iran's Supreme Leader Says

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments as he led a prayer in Tehran for the first time since 2012.

US soldiers prepare unserviceable ammunition to be destroyed through a controlled detonation at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq

Iran's missile attack on US troops in Iraq earlier this month was a "blow to America's image" as a superpower, says Iran's supreme leader.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenein said America had "cowardly" killed their most effective commander in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group when they launched a US air strike on General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

In a Twitter post he branded the US government as a "disgrace" for referring Gen Soleimani as a "terrorist".

As Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed Friday prayers in Tehran, he called the US President a "clown" who only pretends to support the Iranian people.

He said Donald Trump will "push a poisonous dagger" into the nations back. 

How did we get here?

In response to the US killing Gen Soleimani, Iran launched revenge attacks on two sites containing coalition troops in Iraq.

It has since been confirmed that 11 American soldiers were injured at Al Asad air base, with the UK's Ministry of Defence now saying no British personnel were present at the site during the time of the attack.

A site in Erbil was also targetting with ballistic missiles.

A military spokesman said that, although there were no deaths at Al Asad air base, some service members were treated for "concussion symptoms" after the attack. 

Following the incident, Iran was on high alert and mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing 176 civilian passengers - most of which were Iranians.

Iran later claimed responsibility for the deaths, after initially blaming the crash on a technical problem.

General Qassem Soleimani
General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US air strike at the Baghdad international airport (Picture: PA).

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has held his position as the country's top office since 1989 and has the final say on all major decisions.

The 80-year-old leader openly wept at the funeral of Gen Soleimani and vowed "harsh retaliation" against the United States.

Tensions between the US and Iran have steadily escalated since President Donald Trump withdrew the US from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The White House house has since imposed crippling sanctions on Iran, including its vital oil and gas industry, pushing the country into an economic crisis.

European countries who have been trying to salvage the deal responded earlier this week by invoking a dispute mechanism that is aimed at bringing Iran back into compliance and could result in even more sanctions.

Mr Khamenei was always skeptical of the nuclear agreement, arguing that the United States could not be trusted.

But he allowed President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, to conclude the agreement with then-US president Barack Obama.

Cover image: US soldiers at Al Asad Air Base (Picture: US Army).