Long-reigning Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei came down hard on the US, claiming they had created and fueled Daesh* terrorists. The fierce condemnation was part of his address on the first day of the Persian New Year.
"Americans intended to create devilish, cruel and offending groups such as Daesh* to keep the nations of the region busy with internal wars and take their minds off the occupying Zionist regime, but we managed to defuse this plot, thank God," announced the Ayatollah.
According to him, Washington has had “no incentive to destroy Daesh*,” and its claims about cornering the terrorist groups are lies.
Khamenei stressed it was Iran which crushed the terrorists and secured peace in the region last year and “defused the Americans' plot in the region.” He rejected any allegations of “bullying and interference in the countries' domestic affairs.”
The speech came in line with the exchange of accusations between two countries and amid another flashpoint in Iran-US diplomatic frictions.
In an ostensible holiday greeting to those celebrating the Persian holiday of Nowruz, Donald Trump attacked the Iranian authorities and the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Trump dubbed the IRGC “a hostile army that brutalizes and steals from the Iranian people to fund terrorism abroad,” stating they had paid Syria’s government as well as militants and terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Yemen $16 billion.
The verbal attack supported the Trump administration's more hardened approach towards the Iranian nuclear program and its policy in Syria and other Middle East countries.
At the end of last year, the IRGC, an official branch of Iran's Armed Forces, was added to the US anti-terrorism sanctions list for allegedly “providing support to a number of terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as to the Taliban," according to the US Treasury Department. It also stated that the establishment "played a central role in Iran becoming the world's foremost state sponsor of terror."
Trump also repeatedly denounced the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed by Russia, the United States, France, the UK, China and Germany and Iran, which stipulated the gradual lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran in exchange for the Islamic Republic ensuring that its nuclear power program remained peaceful. He threatened to pull the US out of the deal unless it’s revised.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS, Islamic State, IS is a terrorist group, banned in Russia.