On August 28th, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had his first formal meeting with the incoming cabinet of President Ebrahim Raisi. One of his main calls to the new government was to “repair” the public’s damaged trust in government. Speaking about the foreign policy, Khamenei also blamed the U.S. for “shameless behavior”, describing U.S. Presidents as “predatory wolves”.
Supreme Leader asked Raisi’s cabinet not to waste time, to be aware of public perceptions and to uphold public trust with their work and their lifestyle.
“These four years will end soon, so use every hour, every opportunity. Do not let time be wasted when it belongs to the people and to Islam,” he said.
Khamenei called on the government to boost international “economic diplomacy” with other states, and paid special attention on the Iran’s neighboring country Afghanistan. Having offered his condolences over the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul, he blamed Washington for the current chaos in the country.
Moreover, Khamenei claimed that the United States “acted shamelessly” during the negotiations on the nuclear deal, and that President Joe Biden is not different from his predecessor Donald Trump.
“The current US administration does not differ from the previous administration,” he stressed. “There is a predatory wolf behind the scenes of US foreign policy that sometimes turns into a cunning fox. The situation in Afghanistan today is an example of US policy.”
While blaming Washington of “shameless” behavior on Iran’s 2015 nuclear, Khamenei explained that it acted as if Iran left the accord and not these were not the Americans who had unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018, additionally imposing harsh sanctions.
The similar accusations targeted the European members of the deal, who were said to act the same way as the U.S., “but in words and rhetoric they are always demanding, as if it was Iran that for long ridiculed and undermined negotiations”.
Khamenei made his claims at the time when the two sides are expected to head back to Vienna for talks.
Iran has recently confirmed its readiness to at some point continue six rounds of talks that ended on July 20th. However, the exact date of a new round remains unknown.
The sides are yet to decide on how and what sanctions should be lifted as well as how Iran should scale back its nuclear programme.
Khamenei’s remarks may be seen as a signal to the U.S. before talks in Vienna. He stressed one more time that new Iranian government would stand still, working on country’s international trade amid the U.S. sanctions.
In his turn, Biden is yet to fulfill his promises to return to the nuclear deal. He is still following Trump’s pressure policy and refuses to lift any sanctions before an agreement is reached in Vienna.
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