Iran's Khamenei slams 'cowardly' European governments

Clay Curtis
January 18, 2020

Khamenei, who led Friday's public prayer for the first time in eight years, used the platform to push back against the U.S. over the killing of top military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike outside Baghdad's global airport earlier this month.

Iranians who'd gathered to watch his first sermon since 2012 chanted in sympathy "Death to America". "[They were] happy that they had found something to question the Guard and the armed forces".

Khamenei was notably quiet on the Ukrainian Flight 752 disaster, however, only briefly mentioning it as a "bitter accident".

"You are lying", he said.

Khamenei mocked these efforts and dismissed "those American clowns who falsely and contemptuously say they stand with the Iranian people".

Perhaps more than any other country, it is the Israelis who really feel threatened by Iran and so it's they who watch most carefully.

Khamenei also took action against the UK, France and Germany after launching a dispute mechanism to bring Iran back in line with the 2015 decoding nuclear deal.

"These contemptible governments are waiting to bring the Iranian nation to its knees", Khamenei said. Iran witnessed large scale demonstrations after authorities conceded the Army was responsible for shooting down the Boeing 737 airliner last week in which 176 people had died.

The rare sermon took place after Iran's most important general, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq two weeks ago.

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He appeared to be referring to the reported tearing down of a portrait of the general by protesters in Tehran just days after hundreds of thousands of mourners turned out for his funeral.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have increased steadily since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal, which had restricted Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting worldwide sanctions.

"Not only did the deceived ones. not give their lives for Iran, but they did not sacrifice one of their interests for their country".

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the killing in a drone strike on January 3 of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for expanding Iran's influence overseas.

Khamenei hailed the strikes as a "sign of divine help". "This can not be compensated by anything. sanctions can not return the lost prestige of America", he said.

US President Donald Trump, who pulled Washington out of a nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 and ratcheted up tension by reimposing US sanctions, had ordered the drone strike that killed Soleimani, who built up proxy militias across the region.

In June 2019, Iran and the United States had also appeared to be on the brink of direct military confrontation after Tehran shot down a U.S. drone it said had violated its airspace.

The French government provided former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein with Super Étendard strike fighter aircraft, which were used to target Iranian oil tankers during the imposed of the 1980s, the Leader said.

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