On Wednesday, shortly after Trump moved to decertify the 2015 nuclear deal struck with Iran, all the while blasting Tehran as a sponsor of terrorism, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a group of students in Tehran, "I don't want to waste my time on answering the rants and whoppers of the brute US president."
Trump refers to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program as a terrible deal. On Friday, the president falsely stated that Iran has not complied with the multilateral accord. The claim contradicts assertions from top US officials, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford, who recently said "Iran is not in material breach of the agreement."
Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear spoke with several experts on Friday about the situation vis-a-vis Iran. Trump vilified the Iranian government in the most "violent" terms possible, said Mohammad Marandi, professor at the University of Tehran. Speaking to hosts Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek from London, Shabbir Razvi, managing director at International Finance Solutions Associates, called the president's remarks "bitter and abusive."
Khamenei berated the real estate mogul-turned chief executive for displays of "stupidity" while noting "this should not cause us to ignore America's mischief." Trump accused Iran of engaging in excessive "destabilizing activities" in the Middle East; Khamenei suggested that it's only the US leadership's vision for the region that's been upended. "They are angry as today the Islamic Republic of Iran has disrupted their plans in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq," the Ayatollah said.
The White House announced new sanctions Friday targeting the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The "core elements of the president's new Iran strategy," according to a White House fact sheet, include seeking "to deny the Iranian regime — and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — funding for its malign activities."
The Iranian leader rebuked French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion that renewed negotiations were needed to target Iran's ballistic missile program, Agency France-Presse reports. European leaders "must refrain from entering into our defense issues." Regarding Tehran's regional operations, Khamenei said American and European leaders must simply "deal with it."
Khamenei also pointed out the hypocrisy of nations with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons accusing Iran of wrongdoing. "To ask why Iran has missiles — well, why do you have missiles? Why do you have nuclear weapons," he queried, noting that these discussions amounted to little more than "bullying."