Khamenei: Deal won’t change our position for Palestine, against ‘arrogant US’

WATCH: Remarks by Iran’s supreme leader at Tehran ceremony met with chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran on July 18, 2015 (Guardian screenshot)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran on July 18, 2015 (Guardian screenshot)

The nuclear agreement with major powers will not change Iran’s policy against the “arrogant American government” nor will it change the Islamic Republic’s policy of supporting its “friends” in the region, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up support of its friends in the region — the oppressed people of Palestine, of Yemen, the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the oppressed people of Bahrain and sincere resistance fighters in Lebanon and Palestine… Our policy will not change with regards to the arrogant US government,” said Khamenei.

His remarks were greeted by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” at a ceremony in Tehran marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which was broadcast live on state television

Under the deal announced Tuesday, Iran’s nuclear program will be scaled back and closely monitored as the US and world powers seek to cut off its ability to develop an atomic weapon. In exchange, Iran will see biting economic sanctions gradually lifted, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and frozen assets.

Khamenei backed up his words Saturday with a series of Twitter posts repeating his key messages. “Even with #IranDeal, our policies toward US Arrogant system will see no change. US policies in the region differ through 180° from Iran’s,” said one.

“The text approved or not, we won’t stop supporting the oppressed nation in Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Lebanon,” said another.

He added: “We have no talks with US on any intl& regional issues.We’ve had occasional talks with US on basic issues like NuclearTalks based on prudence.”

Iran has long been a sponsor of the Syrian regime headed by embattled President Bashar Assad, as well as Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah. The Shiite Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, has sent forces to fight alongside the Assad regime against rebels sworn to overthrow it.

The supreme leader’s comments reflected his longstanding position that Iran‘s engagement with the six powers was solely to reach a nuclear deal that was in its national interest.

He stressed that the deal with Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany was not yet law and would have to be carefully scrutinized.

“They really took pains and worked hard,” Khamenei said of Iran‘s negotiating team.

“The text that has been prepared, whether it is approved or not, they have done their part and they should have their reward,” he added.

As Iran‘s supreme leader, Khamenei has the final word on all policy matters, foreign and domestic, including on the nuclear deal.

In numerous speeches before this week’s accord, he appeared ambiguous about the talks, consistently talking down the chances of success but at the same time praising Iran‘s negotiators as trustworthy and brave.

In his first comment on the deal, Khamenei warned Wednesday that some of the world powers are unreliable, and that the agreement must be scrutinized to ensure the other parties don’t violate it.

“We know it well that some of the six governments from the opposite party are by no means reliable,” Khamenei told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a letter published on the supreme leader’s Persian-language website, in a possible allusion to the United States. Translations of the letter’s text were published on Iranian English news sites.

Khamenei had the final say in approving the deal, despite cautioning weeks earlier that the United States couldn’t be trusted in the talks. On the Saturday before the deal was struck, Khamenei also told students that Iran would continue to fight the US’s “global arrogance” whether or not an accord was reached.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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