Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday he was grateful to US President Donald Trump for revealing “the real face of America”.
“We are thankful to this gentleman… he showed the real face of America,” Khamenei said in a speech to military officers in Tehran.
“What we have said for more than 30 years – that there is political, economic, moral and social corruption in the ruling system of the US – this gentleman came and brought it out into the open in the election and after the election.”
He referred to the case of a young Iranian boy who was pictured in handcuffs at a US airport following Trump’s ban on visas for seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.
“By what he does – handcuffing a five-year-old child – he shows the true meaning of American human rights,” Khamenei said.
He also responded to Trump’s tweet of 3 February, when the US president said: “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them.”
Khamenei ridiculed the idea of being grateful to former president Barack Obama, saying he was the one who placed “paralysing sanctions” on Iran and helped create the Islamic State group through his destabilising actions in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that with Trump in the White House, Tehran faced “difficult days ahead” regarding its nuclear deal with Washington and other major powers.
“I believe Trump may try to renegotiate” the deal, but “clearly, neither Iran, nor the Europeans or the international community will accept new negotiations”, Zarif told Ettelaat newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday.
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