Iran’s supreme leader vows to continue resisting US pressure
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Iran’s supreme leader vows to continue resisting US pressure

Khamenei urges Iranian officials to ignore US offers of talks, says ‘resistance has a cost, but the cost of surrendering to the enemy is higher’

Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a ceremony marking the 30th death anniversary of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, at his mausoleum just outside Tehran, Iran, June 4, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a ceremony marking the 30th death anniversary of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, at his mausoleum just outside Tehran, Iran, June 4, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that Iran will continue resisting US economic and political pressure.

Khamenei addressed thousands of people on the 30th anniversary of the death of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, in Khomeini’s mausoleum in the capital Tehran.

Without referring to the US by name, Khamenei said “standing and resisting the enemy’s excessive demands and bullying is the only way to stop him.”

Tensions between Washington and Tehran soared recently over America deployment of an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.

Last year, the US withdrew from a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and re-imposed sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s oil sector.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is willing to talk with Iran “with no preconditions.” Iran says the US must return to the deal first.

The USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress conduct joint exercises in the in the Arabian Sea, June 1, 2019. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Released)

Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, said the US is treating Iran with hostility because “they want us to be losers and put our hands up as a sign of surrender, and because we don’t do that, they threaten us.”

Khamenei added: “Resistance has a cost, but the cost of surrendering to the enemy is higher.”

The Ayatollah urged Iranian officials not to pay attention to offers for negotiations made by the US.

“Wherever Americans have set foot, a war broke out, a fratricide began, a sedition was instigated, or an exploitation or colonialism began there,” he said.

The supreme leader added that Iran is under pressure to negotiate over its missile program because it has been developed to the point where it is a deterrent.

In his speech, Khamenei also criticized Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, for taking a stance against Iran in accordance with the US position.

An Iranian woman holding a placard takes part in a demonstration outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran on January 3, 2016, against the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities. (AFP Photo/Atta Kenare)

Saudi Arabia recently held a series of summits with Muslim countries and accused Iran’s behavior of threatening regional stability and security. Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said Muslim nations must confront recent attacks blamed on Iran with “all means of force and firmness.”

Iran rejected the accusation.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are at odds over many regional issues, including the wars in Syria and Yemen, where they support opposite sides.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran after angry protesters in January 2016 attacked its embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad over the execution of top opposition cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

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