Khamenei says Iranian President Rouhani too friendly with US

Iraninian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei criticized Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's policy of "open dialogue" with the West.

Gary Willig ,

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sharply criticized the US and his own President, Hassan Rouhani, for what he called Rouhani's policy of "open dialogue" with the West.

Speaking at a reception for new Iranian naval officers Sunday, Khamenei said that the nuclear deal Iran reached with Western powers last year, the JCPOA, was not favorable enough to Iran, and that the US could abandon it easily.

"The West is not obligated to the deal that some of our leaders signed on to," Khamenei said.

He also called for "revenge" after the US House of Representatives voted to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for a further ten years, keeping the current sanctions on Iran in place. The extension of the sanctions must still be approved by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama before it can become law.

"Even though there were ongoing negotiations about removing the sanctions, the American Congress extended them under the assertion that it was just extending a previous decision and that it is nothing new," Khamenei said. "In my opinion, there is no difference between new sanctions and extending the old sanctions."

Khamenei had previously threatened that Iran would view the extension of sanctions as a violation of the JCPOA and "retaliate" accordingly.