11222017Wed

Iran Reaffirms That Its Belligerence Goes Beyond Nuclear Ambitions

by Pooya Stone

Earlier this week, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared the United States as Iran’s number one enemy. His speech was televised on state TV and he slammed American hostility towards the Islamic Republic, accusing it of bullying.

He ironically accused U.S. President Donald Trump of supporting terrorism in the Middle East.

Khamenei said that Iran will never give in to the pressure coming from the United States with regards to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Last month, Trump decided not to formally certify Iran with compliance to the nuclear deal, despite pressure from the other world powers that are signatories to the deal. He was warned by many that the deal could fall apart if he did not certify compliance, but he made his case stating that Iran cannot continue to operate with the same level of impunity.

During the decertification speech, Trump pointed to the many ways in which Iran is belligerent and stated that the regime needs to change its behaviour and should be stopped in its tracks.

The Supreme Leader described Trump’s words as “foolish remarks” and said that his hostility is “towards the entire Iranian nation”. This is a complete fabrication because Trump is one of the very few leaders who has spoken up for the people of Iran. He recognises them as the “first victims” of the Iranian regime and has hinted that he would be in favour of regime change in Iran, not just for the benefit of peace and security in the Middle East and beyond, but also for the people of Iran.

Despite Iran signing the nuclear deal, it still continued to wreak havoc in the Middle East and suppress its own people. It has also even continued to publicly denounce the United States, saying that no deal would ever change this.

After the 1979 Islamic revolution, the United States and Iran severed ties. The incident that clenched this decision was the hostage taking of 52 Americans for a period of 444 days.

President Trump has described the nuclear deal as the worst that has ever been negotiated and he has slammed many of the concessions that Iran was granted as a result. Since taking office, Trump has always dealt with Iran with tough rhetoric and has addressed Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

Iran recently said that if the nuclear deal falls apart it will have no choice but to resist but has also claimed that it will stick to the terms of the deal for as long as it is in place – provided that the other signatories do so too.

During his recent speech, the Supreme Leader said: “We will never accept their bullying over the nuclear deal.... Americans are using all the wickedness to damage the result of the nuclear talks. Any retreat by Iran will make America more blatant and impudent.... Resistance is the only option.”

However, Trump has recognised that Iran’s belligerence goes beyond its nuclear ambitions. Other areas that he is keen to address are Iran’s support and spread of terrorism and its suppression of the people at home.

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