Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump would fail in his hardened stance towards Iran, saying Tehran was stronger than during the time of the “more powerful and smarter” Ronald Reagan, Reuters reports.
“Reagan was more powerful and smarter than Trump, and he was a better actor in making threats, and he also moved against us and they shot down our plane,” Khamenei said in a speech broadcasted on state television.
In 1988, a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian passenger plane over the Gulf, killing all 290 aboard, in an incident which Washington said was a mistake. Tehran said it was a deliberate attack on Iran, then at war with neighboring Iraq.
“But Reagan is gone and, according to our beliefs, he now faces God’s retribution … while Iran has made great advances in all areas since Reagan’s time. This trend will continue under the current American president and any hopes on their part that the Islamic Republic would back off or weaken is futile,” Khamenei added.
Trump has called Iran, where Khamenei has final say over government policies, a “dictatorship,” and his administration has imposed a series of tough new sanctions over Iran’s ballistic-missile activities, which the United States maintains violate the spirit of the 2015 agreement between Tehran and global powers on Iran’s nuclear program.
The administration also accuses Iran of arming Yemen’s Shi’ite Huthi rebels in their war against Yemen’s Saudi-backed government – a charge Tehran denies. In an October speech, Trump outlined a more aggressive approach to Iran over its nuclear and missile programs and its support for militant groups in the Middle East.
Khamenei said here on Saturday that under present conditions, the U.S. has resorted to various propagandistic ploys to confront the great Iranian nation, IRNA reported.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the relentless efforts and endeavors underway in Iran for reforms and solving of problems facing the masses demonstrate the country’s biggest campaign against the U.S. The Leader said today is not the right time for the U.S. to act as it did on August 19, 1953, because the Iranian nation, who is now a model for other nations of the world, supports Islam and the revolution with zealous Iranian women, men, and youth being ready to confront any plot.
Ayatollah Khamenei also cautioned the enemy’s intention to dishearten people toward the Islamic establishment, undermine religious beliefs, that have been the driving force for the Iranian people in their efforts to overcome hardships, and foil any attempt to solve people’s problems.
Khamenei said that the U.S. is one of “the most corrupt and cruel” governments in the world in the latest broadside as he promised that his theocratic nation would frustrate Washington in all departments they confront.
“Enemies are now attempting to divide the system and weaken its popular support, but the Iranian people would not be deceived by their apparently nice words,” said the Leader.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Americans have resorted to propaganda campaign because they have lost their hopes in the effectiveness of military and economic methods. He went on to say that Americans know pretty well that if they opt for military intervention, the Iranian nation would give them such a crushing response that they would regret their deeds.
“Our main enemy, the American regime, rules one of the most corrupt and most oppressive countries. It supports terrorists. According to reports, it’s still supporting Daesh and others like them. The American government supports the cruel House of Saud in his crimes against Yemen, and it supports the Zionist regime in their crimes against Palestine,” Khamenei said in his televised address on Wednesday.