Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei mocked Donald Trump’s intelligence Wednesday, saying that the US president would fail in his hardline stance against Tehran, just as his “smarter” predecessor Ronald Reagan did before him.
“Reagan was more powerful and smarter than Trump. He was a better actor in making threats. He also moved against us and shot down our plane,” Khamenei said in a televised address, according to Reuters.
In 1988, a US naval vessel mistook an Iran Air passenger flight for a fighter jet, shooting it down and killing 290 people.
“But Reagan is gone and, according to our beliefs, he now faces God’s retribution… while Iran has made great advances in all areas since Reagan’s time,” Khamenei continued, according to Reuters.
“This trend will continue under the current American president and any hopes on their part that the Islamic Republic would back off or weaken is futile,” Reuters quoted the supreme leader as saying.
Khamenei expressed satisfaction over what he said were the true feelings of the US toward Iran being laid bare under Trump. In the past, US officials had sought to fool Iran by hiding their true feelings, he said, in additional comments picked up by the semi-official Fars News Agency.
Last month, Trump decided not to recertify the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying the agreement had failed to curb Iran’s missile program or hinder its destabilizing activities in the Middle East.
While Trump — and Israeli officials — have been very critical of the deal, the other partners have all indicated that they intend to uphold the pact.
He further lashed out at the US over its support for “the Zionists,” highlighting Trump’s decision earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.