In his first meeting with President Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) and his cabinet following parliament’s vote of confidence, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei once again lashed out at the United States and said what President Joe Biden demands from Iran is no different from what former US President Donald Trump wanted.
Khamenei said that the United States has crossed the limit of “outrageous behaviour.”
This is likely to be an indication that the US is insisting on including issues of regional security and Tehran’s missile program on the agenda of the – temporarily suspended – indirect nuclear talks between the two countries.
Khamenei said, “US officials speak about Iran’s nuclear case in a way as if it was Iran that has left the 2015 nuclear deal and violated its commitments.” He made it clear that “What the Biden Administration demands from Iran in the nuclear case is the same as Trump’s demands but in a different way.”
Meanwhile, Khamenei accused Europe of “obstructionism and breaking its promises,” adding that “Europe’s rhetoric also includes excessive demands in a way that as if it was Iran that ridiculed and undermined the talks for a long time.”
The sixth round of the indirect talks between Iran and the United States via European mediators were halted in Vienna about two months ago. During this period Iran has not responded to the West’s demands for resuming the talks.
During this period, Iran has been busy with its presidential election and transition from the Rouhani administration to Raisi’s hardline government. On Friday, EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell held a telephone conversation with Irans new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and called for setting a date for the resumption of the Vienna talks.
Quoting Israeli officials, Israeli media have reported during the past week that the US is no longer optimistic about the resumption of the talks.
Meanwhile, during a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday in Washington, Joe Biden reiterated that the US will not allow Iran to find access to nuclear weapons. He said that if the United States cannot revive the nuclear deal with Iran, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it will consider “other options” against the Islamic Republic.
Responding to Biden’s statement, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council threatened the United States that Iran might use its “available options” to respond to the threats. He was possibly referring to Iran’s asymmetrical warfare doctrine which makes it possible to respond to threats in unlikely places using improvised ways the rest of the world defines as terrorism.
Meanwhile, speaking about the developments in Afghanistan, Khamenei said that the problems of Afghanistan are the outcome of 20 years of US presence in that country. He also charged that the US was behind the deadly blasts in Kabul on Thursday.
Without naming the Taliban or expressing any explicit opinion on the Taliban takeover, Khamenei said: “We support the nation of Afghanistan. Governments come and go but the nation of Afghanistan will remain there.” He added that “Iran’s relations with various governments depends on how they like to maintain their ties with Iran.
Former Afghan government officials and others have accused the Islamic Republic of supporting the Taliban. A Taliban delegation’s visit to Iran earlier in the summer led to various international reactions.
Speaking on domestic matters, Khamenei reiterated his disapproval of the Rouhani administration’s performance at least twice during the meeting, calling on the new government to try to restore the people’s lost confidence in the government. Unlike past…