Iran’s Khamenei: ‘Death to America’ Chant Should Not Be Taken Personally by U.S. Citizens

Iranian lawmakers burn two pieces of papers representing the U.S. flag and the nuclear deal as they chant slogans against the U.S. at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Iranian lawmakers have set a paper U.S. flag ablaze at parliament after President Donald Trump's nuclear deal pullout, …
AP Photo

The popular Iranian chant of “Death to America” is directed at President Donald Trump and U.S. political leaders, not the American people, Iran’s supreme leader said Friday.

“As long as America continues its wickedness, the Iranian nation will not abandon ‘Death to America’,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iranian Air Force officers marking the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, according to his official website.

“‘Death to America’ means death to Trump, (National Security Adviser) John Bolton, and (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo. It means death to American rulers,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The cry of “Death to America” has long featured in the Islamic republic, with leaders and the public alike using it to vent their perception of America’s supposed interest in working against the country.

Iran even holds an annual “Death to America” rally every November to commemorate the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979, leading to a 444-day hostage crisis in which the Iranian regime held 52 Americans prisoner.

Any attack on the country will also draw the same response:

Khamenei warned that Europe “cannot be trusted” just seven days after Iran agreed a deal with the European Union (E.U.) to evade U.S. trade sanctions.

“These days there’s talk of the Europeans and their proposals. My advice is that they shouldn’t be trusted, just like the Americans,” he said.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t have relations with them. This is about trust,” he added.

Khamenei then accused Europe of hypocrisy over human rights, criticising France’s treatment of protesters in Paris.

“They (anti-riot police) attack protesters in Paris streets and blind them, then they have the audacity to make human rights requests of us,” he said.

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