Fresh off his completion of the Iranian nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry continues his media blitz to sell the deal even as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the United States in a new speech.
“Our policies toward the arrogant government of the United States will not be changed at all,” Khamenei said, reminding Iranians that “American policies are 180 degrees different from us.”
Chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” were shouted during Khamenei’s speech.
Kerry admitted in an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya News that he was troubled by those statements.
“If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling, and we’ll have to wait and see,” Kerry said, suggesting the Ayatollah’s public comments should be taken seriously.
“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,” Kerry added. “But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different.”
Khamenei also declared that Iran’s support for terrorists in the region would not change as a result of the nuclear deal.
“We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” he said. “Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change.”
But Kerry sent a strong signal to the Gulf nations that they would remain committed to supporting their efforts to fight terrorism from a strengthened Iran.
“We are not kidding when we talk about the importance of pushing back against extremism, against support for terrorism and proxies who are destabilizing other countries,” he said. “It’s unacceptable.”