Khamenei: We've neutralized American plans in the Middle East

Iran's Supreme Leader accuses U.S. of creating groups like ISIS to distract people from "Zionist regime".

Elad Benari,

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said his country has neutralized U.S. plans in the Middle East.

"Those who interfere in all the affairs of the world protest and ask: 'Why does Iran intervene in the affairs of Iraq and Syria?' What is it to you? The Islamic Republic of Iran has succeeded in neutralizing U.S. plans in the region," he said in a speech marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year, according to AFP.

Khamenei accused the United States of planning to "create oppressive and rebel groups like Daesh (the Islamic State group) to distract people in the region from the Zionist regime (Israel) and keep them occupied with internal conflicts."

The Iranian leader's speech was delivered in the city of Masshad and broadcast on state television.

Iran has supported the governments of Syria and Iraq by sending "military advisers" and its own "volunteers" along with Afghans and Pakistanis to fight jihadists and rebels.

Its presence in the region has been denounced by the United States as well as France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Khamenei said Iran was there "at the request of the governments and people" of those countries.

"Without a doubt, the United States will not reach its goals in the region and, thank God, we will achieve ours," he added.

Khamenei is notorious for his verbal attacks against both the United States and Israel, having recently accused the two countries of being behind a wave of popular protests that swept Iran.

The Supreme Leader refers to the U.S. as the “Great Satan” and backs the chants of “Death to America” which are often heard during protests in Iran.

As for Israel, he has in the past referred to the Jewish state as a “cancer” and threatened to "annihilate" the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Khamenei’s comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump angered Iran over a message to its people on the occasion of the Nowruz New Year celebrations.

In the message, Trump said, "The Iranian people face another challenge: rulers who serve themselves instead of serving their people".

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Tuesday fired back at Trump on Twitter.

“With millennia of civilization, Iranians have the historical depth to ignore the absurd insults of an arriviste leader; one whose entire command of history, politics and diplomacy can be condensed into 280 characters - but even so, still superior to his juvenile royal stooge,” tweeted Zarif.








top