The American forces in the region are today faced with insecurity, which may come to threaten the European troops as well in the near future, he added.
“Restore this security. We want you to leave the region… not by means of war, but by taking the wise move [to do so],” he said. “You [yourself] will stand to benefit from this. Go down the path that benefits the region and the entire world,” the president added.
He also touched on the Islamic Republic’s recent strikes against US bases in western and northern Iraq, which came in retaliation for the US assassination of revered Iranian commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, among others, in Baghdad on January 3.
“General Soleimani’s martyrdom will not go unanswered. The military response was given,” he said, noting that the strikes that hit the US’s Ain al-Assad Airbase in Iraq’s Anbar Province showed that “we do not back down in the face of the US and will surely respond to their crime.”
Apart from the military retaliation, Rouhani suggested, the real response would be a collective endeavor by regional countries towards the US departure from the region.
'Plane crash error should not happen again'
Rouhani also addressed the human error that caused the downing of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport last week.
The jetliner was mistaken for an incoming cruise missile, while a communication breakdown prevented the operator from obtaining the permission required for the launch. It killed all 176 people on board.
“Our people and the world need to be assured that this incident will never be repeated,” the president asserted.