Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the foreign policy of the United States across the Middle East and accused Washington of destabilizing the region through its intervention, Newsweek reports.
While addressing a gathering of air force commanders in Tehran, Khamenei said the U.S. had created Daesh and that the U.S. was responsible for the death and destruction it caused. In response, he said, Iran’s primary goal was to stand against cruelty and corruption at the international level and to discredit the United States.
‘’Today, the U.S. government is the cruelest and most merciless system in the world, which is even worse than the savage ISIS members,’’ Khamenei emphasized.
Daesh has roots in Iraqi jihadi groups that rose in the wake of the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003. After toppling Saddam Hussein, the United States struggled to stabilize the country. As Daesh consolidated control over large parts of Iraq, there were forces backed by the United States and forces backed by Iran that fought alongside one another to defeat the terrorist organization. Iran and the United States fought Daesh in Syria too, but in separate campaigns. Sometimes they even clashed with each other.
In the beginning, the United States supported Syrian rebel groups who were trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad is an ally of Iran and Russia. Afterwards, the Americans started supporting mostly Kurdish groups.
Khamenei used the opportunity to criticize the United States for backing Israel over Palestine, for a Saudi-led war on Shiite Muslim rebels known as the Houthis in Yemen and for undermining the 2015 nuclear deal. The deal was signed under the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, but Donald Trump has instituted a much more hard-line position against Iran. The U.S. president has accused Iran of supporting terrorism and developing ballistic missile technology that compromised regional security.