Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran. File picture: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

Tehran - The US "is an enemy and will remain an enemy" that must be pushed out of the Middle East, says Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the wake of airstrikes on a US base in Iraq.

"The goal should be to end the presence of the Americans in the region," said Khameini. "The Americans have only brought war and destruction to the region."

The attacks came as the already poor relations between the countries have come to the brink of war after a week that already saw a US-led assassination of a top Iranian general.

"It is a great mistake to believe that political flexibility and willingness to compromise with the Americans are good for our country," said Khamenei.

Mourners escort the flag-draped coffin of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias during his funeral procession in Basra, Iraq. Picture: AP

Thousands of people gathered in Basra on Tuesday to bid farewell to Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi militia commander who was killed in a US airstrike on Friday. Picture: AP
The coffins of General Qassem Soleimani and others who were killed in Iraq by a US drone strike are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners during a funeral procession in the city of Kerman, Iran. Picture: Erfan Kouchari/Tasnim News Agency via AP