Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, vowed to supporters on Saturday that Iran would continue to support terror groups in the region, despite the recently announced nuclear agreement with the P5+1.
Ayatollah Khamenei declared: “Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region”, including “sincere resistance fighters in Lebanon and Palestine”.
He further stated that American policies in the region were “180 degrees” opposed to Iran’s, and vowed to continue opposition to the United States.
The comments were delivered in a speech at a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.
On Tuesday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, reiterated the pledge to continue arming terror groups and proxies, stating: “We have told them [the P5+1 powers] in the negotiations that we will supply arms to anyone and anywhere necessary and will import weapons from anywhere we want and we have clarified this during the negotiations”.
The United States said on Tuesday it was disturbed by anti-US hostility voiced by Iran’s top leader, stating that the Supreme Leader’s comments were “very disturbing, very troubling”.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry said: “I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy. But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling”.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to the speech that “if anyone thought that excessive concessions to Iran would lead it to change its policies, they received a decisive answer this weekend with the aggressive and adversarial speech by Iran’s leader Khamenei”.
Ayatollah Khamenei, as Supreme Leader, is Iran’s highest authority.
On the same day, Iran dismissed a German official’s appeal for it to recognise Israel’s right to exist. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said: “We have totally different views from Germany on certain regional issues in the Middle East and we have explicitly expressed our viewpoints in different negotiation…this is not something new”.