Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei Promises to ‘Slap’ U.S. over Sanctions

In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leade
Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Iran will “slap” the United States by defeating new sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic, the country’s supreme leader warned Thursday.

AP reports Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered the promise in a speech in Tehran before thousands of members of the Basij, an all-volunteer force under Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Khamenei says he heard President Donald Trump tell European leaders that the Islamic Republic would collapse in the coming months over American sanctions, something he dismissed. The sanctions have crushed Iran’s economy but Khamenei said new agreements with the E.U. will help it survive.

Khamenei also warned foreign media is as dangerous as “chemical weapons.”

He spoke less than 24 hours after Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, claimed the United States “is isolated in the world and nobody has acknowledged and will accept the American way.”

Semi-official Iranian newsagency ISNA reports Rouhani was addressing a cabinet meeting and continued, “Today, the public opinions of the world is on Iran’s side and even inside the USA, many consider Iranian politicians and people the right side.”

Claiming the U.S. is making “empty threats” on trade sanctions, he said, “The U.S. has failed and will fail in achieving its goals. The diplomats of the Islamic Republic of Iran achieved considerable successes in the United Nations General Assembly, which led to U.S.’ more isolation.”

Last August President Donald Trump signed an executive order reimposing a series of economic sanctions on Iran.

In a statement sent to reporters at the time, Trump said the Iran nuclear deal brokered by Barack Obama gave Iran the economic resources necessary to both continue funding terrorism around the world and searching for a path for a nuclear weapon.

“The JCPOA, a horrible, one-sided deal, failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos,” he wrote.

Both Iranian leaders spoke after publicly applauding the European Union (E.U.) on Wednesday for taking a “big step” in setting the mechanisms to evade the new U.S. trade sanctions.

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