Iran "defused regional threats — one of their aims was to harm the Islamic Republic — these threats did not damage our country, but turned into opportunities," Khamenei said on Tuesday as Iranians are celebrating the Nowruz holiday.
He was echoed by President Hassan Rouhani, who paid tribute to Iran's "humble soldiers and tireless diplomats were able to stand with the people of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to establish stability and increase security for the region."
Tehran has been under pressure from the United States, with US President Donald Trump slamming the internationally approved Iran nuclear deal and Washington taking the side of protesters during unrest in Tehran in December and January.
Trump, meanwhile, also congratulated Iranians on their New Year, while at the same time blasting the authorities for their social policies.
Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif published a tweet condemning "the insults of an arriviste leader" keen on social media — and though the particular leader was not named, the statement caused many to turn their eyes across the Atlantic Ocean.
Any insult from a man like Trump should be interpreted as a BADGE of HONOR for Iranians. Happy Norooz to great and pious and VERY WISE & LOGICAL Iranian leaders! Wish Trump had IODA of Iranian leaders wisdom or integrity!— Ashraf (@AshrafGirgis4) 20 марта 2018 г.