Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei threatened Israel on Monday and suggested neither the recently completed nuclear deal nor President Obama could ensure the country’s safety.
A Twitter account run by the Iranian leader issued the following threat against Israeli security:
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) July 20, 2015
Included with the tweet was a video in which Khamenei is seen directly contradicting President Obama’s promise to “strengthen Israel’s security.” The brief clip, which contains numerous shots of launching missiles, ends with Khamenei speaking the same message as the tweet (via subtitles): “Israel’s security will not be ensured whether there will be a nuclear agreement or not.”
The imagery in the clip is significant. It comes as Iran insists the nuclear agreement has no impact on their ability to produce ballistic missiles. Fars News reported Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, said of the deal Tuesday, “Within this framework, Iran’s military capabilities, including its ballistic missiles, are exclusively for legitimate defense; these equipment have not been designed for the capability to carry nuclear payloads and thus, fall outside the scope and the jurisdiction of the UNSC resolution and its annexes.”
Khamenei’s message does not sound defensive in nature. In fact, this is not the first time he has called for Israel’s destruction on social media. Last year he said Israel should be “annihilated” and endorsed arming people in the West Bank.
The speech Khamenei made over the weekend and the tweet Monday raise questions about the accuracy of a secret CIA estimate that Iran’s leadership would devote most of its post-agreement windfall to its economy. Last week, the LA Times reported the Obama administration was banking on the more moderate President Rouhani to direct funds toward economic recovery, even as the President admitted some of the money would go toward support for terrorist groups.