Khamenei: U.S. ‘Number One Enemy’ of Iran

Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei reiterated his commitment to resisting U.S. attempts to renegotiate a multilateral nuclear deal and defending his country’s reputation from accusations by Washington, Newsweek writes.

Trump announced last month he would decertify the treaty, calling Iran a “fanatical regime” that funded terrorism abroad. Tehran’s response was through Khamenei, who attacked the U.S. president for aiming his rhetoric at Iran as a whole, rather than just its leadership.

“Such foolish words reveal that the Americans are not only an enemy to the leadership and government of Iran, but they are hostile to the very existence of a tireless nation that has for decades stood against them,” Khamenei told a group of students Thursday, according to Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency.

“America is the number one enemy of our nation. We will never accept their bullying over the nuclear deal. he added in comments translated by Reuters.” the Ayatollah added.

Responding to Trump and his administration’s attempts to isolate Iran diplomatically, Khamenei noted that his foes in the U.S. “are not capable of understanding the fact that a nation with such a rich history and culture cannot be eradicated,” according to Press TV, the English-language affiliate of the semi-official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting agency.

In a potential violation of the JCPOA’s terms, Trump encouraged nations to cut economic ties with Iran because of its support for groups deemed terrorist organizations by the U.S. government, Newsweek informs.

Khamenei’s remarks Thursday came just ahead of the National Day in the Fight Against Global Arrogance, traditionally recognized on the 4th of Aban on the Iranian Shamsi calendar, a date that falls on Saturday.

The date marks three significant events in the country’s history that portray the U.S. in a negative light: the arrest of future Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini by the U.S.- and U.K.-installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1964; the outbreak of bloody clashes between students and the shah’s forces in 1978; and the storming of the U.S. embassy in 1979 that began a 444-day hostage crisis.