Khamenei blames Zionist ‘network’ for US and EU policy

In new critical assault, Iranian supreme leader says ‘Death to America’ slogans are inevitable Iranian response to American ‘open hostility’

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking at a meeting in Tehran, November 1, 2015. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking at a meeting in Tehran, November 1, 2015. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

Escalating his rhetoric against the United States and Israel, Iran’s supreme leader claimed Wednesday that a Zionist “network” dominates US and EU policy, and that Iranian slogans of “Death to America” are a natural response to US “hostility,” an Iranian news site reported.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “said the global Zionism network dictates the US and many EU members’ policies vis-a-vis Iran,” the Fars news agency said.

It quoted him telling a large audience “from East Azerbaijan province” in Tehran on Wednesday that “the US and many European governments’ policies are dominated by this (Zionist) network, and the Americans’ dealing with Iran’s nuclear issue should be understood within this particular framework.”

Khamenei complained that an unnamed US official recently vowed to take “action to dissuade foreign investments in Iran,” and protested that “this demonstrates the depths of the US hostility toward the Iranian nation.”

The nuclear deal signed by Iran with the P5+1 powers last July was part of a bid to improve the Iranian economy by attracting foreign investment, he said, “but the Americans now want to block this path… And that’s exactly why it has been repeatedly stated that Americans are not trustworthy.”

Responding to complaints from the US about the chanting of “Death to America” at Iranian rallies, Khamenei said, “When you act like this, when your past and present is nothing but open hostility, what else do you expect from the Iranian people?” He made similar claims on Twitter on Wednesday.

Khamenei has kept a relentless stream of anti-Israel and anti-US rhetoric, both during the negotiations on the nuclear and since it was signed and implementation begun.

He has said that Iran will not normalize relations with the United States, and both predicted and encouraged the demise of Israel.

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