U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that he is “disturbed” by the tone set by Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei in his speech over the weekend to commemorate the end of Ramadan, an Islamic holy month. In his address, the despotic ruler of the Islamic Republic called for the destruction of the state of Israel and asked fellow Muslims to resist the wishes of the “arrogant” world powers.
In an interview with Al-Arabiya, Kerry called Khamenei’s remarks “very troubling,” especially considering that Tehran had just signed a diplomatic accord with world powers concerning its nuclear program.
“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 said of the Iranian ruler, whose followers call him “Supreme Leader.”
“But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling,” the Secretary of State added.
During the speech, in which worshippers called for “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” Khamenei appeared to be holding a rifle, an observation that went completely unreported in the mainstream media.
Kerry added, “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. It’s unacceptable.”
The U.S. Secretary of State stood firmly behind the Obama administration’s belief that the agreement with Iran “gets rid of the nuclear weapon potential.”
In defending the agreement, he added, “There are very specific inspection and accountability measures that are part of the agreement forever – not for 15 years or 20 years, but forever.”