Tehran (IP) - The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani has praised a massive rally held in Iraq on Friday saying the Iraqi people are in the vanguard of expelling US military forces from this region.

Iran PressIran news: In a message to the religious leadership in Iraq as well as the Iraqi people and government on Friday, Ali Shamkhani hailed the million-man rally in Baghdad as “historic” and said the 'praiseworthy' rally indicates that the Iraqi people are at the forefront of the campaign to expel all American military forces from this region.

The Iranian official also described the US assassination of revered Iranian General Qassem Soleimani as a 'strategic mistake' of Donald Trump and his 'evil' team and said the countdown to the expulsion of the US Army from this region has already begun.

“The demonstration by millions of Iraqis showed that the US threat to impose sanctions against the country if the law on the expulsion of Washington’s servicemen is enforced is a rotten tool that cannot affect the will of governments and nations seeking to maintain their independence and national sovereignty,” he noted.

Shamkhani also said the massive demonstration of the Iraqi people starts an inclusive movement that will be continued by regional nations that have been hurt by the US invasion.

Protesters took to the streets of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Friday for a million-man rally to call for an end to the military presence of the United States in their country.

The rally was called by senior Iraqi resistance figures, days after the parliament voted to expel American Forces following an illegal US airstrike in Baghdad that led to the assassination of  Lt. General Qassem Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

On Friday morning, protesters, including men, women, and children of all ages, carried Iraqi flags and marched under grey skies.

Loudspeakers blasted "No, no America!" at a central square in Baghdad. Protesters also held up posters reading, "Death to America. Death to Israel."

The US military presence in Iraq has become a hot-button issue in the country since a US drone bombed and assassinated top Iraqi and Iranian military commanders near Baghdad international airport on Friday 3 January 2020.

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