Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday rebuffed the Trump administration’s more aggressive strategy on the nuclear deal, and called the United States Iran’s “number one enemy.”
“The American president’s foolish remarks against our people show the depth of America’s hostility towards the entire Iranian nation,” Khamenei told a group of students in a televised address, according to Reuters.
“America is the number one enemy of our nation,” he added.
Earlier this month, US President Donald 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.
The deal was signed by Iran and five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany — establishing controls to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb before the deal’s expiration in 2025 in exchange for sanctions relief.
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.
On Monday, the head of the UN atomic agency said in Abu Dhabi that IAEA inspectors are doing their work in Iran “without a problem,” a day after he said Tehran was implementing its nuclear commitments.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear power, a day after holding talks in Tehran with Iranian officials.
“As of today, I can state that the nuclear-related commitments made by Iran under the JCPOA (nuclear deal) are being implemented,” Amano had told a Tehran news conference Sunday broadcast by state television.
An IAEA report released last month had also affirmed Iran’s compliance with the program.