Khamenei slams Israel, ‘arrogance’ ahead of negotiations

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In a speech today in front of 50,000 Basij, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a wide range of issues, including Israel’s position in the region and with European countries, the policy of the United States — which he called the “leader of the arrogance” — and the nuclear negotiations

Based on an early transcript from Fars News, on the nuclear negotiations, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “On the one hand, I insist that the current officials in the negotiations be supported. They need help, and I, too, help them. On the other hand, I insist that they do not retreat one step from the nuclear rights of the nation — the red lines must be observed.” The supreme leader has the final say in the nuclear program; however, he has not publicly stated what the red lines are. In previous statements he has also publicly supported the nuclear negotiators and warned others to support them as well, despite saying he was not optimistic about them.

Using harsher language than usual, Ayatollah Khamenei also dismissed Israeli claims about Iran being a threat to the world. “Is the Islamic system after a war with others?” asked Khamenei. “Sometimes this is heard from the enemies of Iran, such as from the sinister mouth of the unclean rabid dog of the region in the Zionist regime,” he said, in a reference to Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ayatollah Khamenei also addressed Israeli and European relations, which seems to be improving as Israel appears to be relying on the French to assume a tougher stance in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1). “The support of the miserable Zionist regime to which not even an animal’s name can be assigned will be a great dishonor to the Europeans. Of course, the French must themselves find a remedy for it.” He added, “The Zionist regime is an imposed regime, and whatever comes out of force is not durable and this regime will not endure.”

Khamenei also addressed relations with the American people and the government, an issue that has been increasingly discussed since President Hassan Rouhani’s attempts to lessen tensions with other countries.

“We want to have relations with all people,” Khamenei said. “Even with the American people we do not have enmities, we have a problem with the US government and its arrogance.” He added, “Arrogance is a term from the Quran, and today the leader of arrogance is the US government.”

He continued that one aspect of “arrogance” is that “it does not accept rights. It neither accepts rightful speech nor the rights of nations. The nuclear discussion is an inalienable right that any just person who listens to the arguments would accept it, but the arrogance does not accept it.”

He also added that it was the United States that used nuclear weapons in Japan, supported Saddam Hussein as he used chemical weapons against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war and shot down an Iranian civilian airplane. Khamenei also dismissed that there are any differences in policy approach between the different US presidents, claiming that “they are all the same.”

Correction: An earlier version based on the transcript of several Iranian news agencies wrote that Ayatollah Khamenei called Israel a “rabid dog.” The correct text and audio was provided Khamenei’s website. Khamenei’s Twitter account however, continues to use the text provided by the news agencies.