Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, gave a fiery speech on Saturday, July 18 that suggested his country would continue a policy of conflict with the United States, his speech coming some four days after the signing of a nuclear deal between the two countries in Geneva. On Tuesday, the secretary of state for the U.S., John Kerry, called the Ayatollah’s words “disturbing.”
“If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling, and we’ll have to wait and see,” Kerry told al-Araiva Channel News Tuesday. “I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different.”
Khamenei’s words, given in a speech at a Tehran mosque to a supportive crowd shouting “Death to America” and Death to Israel,” held little back and referred to the U.S. as “arrogant.” Khamenei also suggested that the confusing and forever in-fighting parliament of Iran may not, in the final analysis, approve the deal brokered between Kerry and his counterpart, Mohammad Jaded Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran.
“Whether the deal is approved or disapproved,” Ali Khamenei said. “We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant US will not change.”
The deal is intended to see sanctions against Iran relaxed as the country makes concessions relating to its nuclear program, which the U.S. and much of the West believes has been intended to produce nuclear weapons, something Iran denies. The deal has not been passed through parliament in Iran but neither has it been passed by the U.S. Congress.
Since the signing of the deal, Kerry has made similar, if less fiery statements, than those made by Khamenei. The U.S. secretary of state has said that his country will continue to support Israel and would still side with Israel in the event of a conflict in the Middle East