Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Feb. 7 that he was grateful to U.S. 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 U.S. - 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 U.S. 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.
The U.S. government on Feb. 6 defended Trump’s travel ban as a “lawful exercise” of his authority, and urged an appeals court to reinstate the suspended measure in the interests of national security.
Khamenei also responded to Trump’s tweet of Feb. 3, when the U.S. president said: “Iran is playing with fire - they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ [former U.S.] President Obama was to them.”
Khamenei ridiculed the idea of being grateful to Obama, saying he was the one who placed “paralyzing sanctions” on Iran
and helped create the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) through his destabilizing actions in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier, Iranian 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 Feb. 7.
On Feb. 6, Trump pledged that America
and its allies would defeat the “forces of death” and keep radical jihadists from gaining a foothold on U.S. soil.
“Today we deliver a message in one very unified voice to these forces of death and destruction - America
and its allies will defeat you,” Trump said as he visited U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which plays a key role in the U.S.-led mission to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
“We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism. And we will not allow it to take root in our country,” he said.
As a response to Trump’s remarks, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Trump’s prioritization was promising although it was too early to expect any practical steps, state news agency SANA reported on Feb. 7.
Trump has indicated he might cut U.S. support for Syrian rebels and might help Syria in the fight against ISIL.
He has made defeating ISIL a core goal of his presidency and signed an executive order asking the Pentagon, the joint chiefs of staff and other agencies to submit a preliminary plan on how to proceed within 30 days.
Assad was quoted by SANA as telling a group of Belgian reporters: “I believe this is promising but we have to wait and it’s too early to expect anything practical.”
In a tweet on Feb. 6, Trump said: “The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is very real, just look at what is happening in Europe
and the Middle-East. Courts must act fast!”