Don’t trust ‘Great Satan’ US, ‘evil’ Britain, says Iran’s Khamenei

Tehran, June 3 (IANS) Iranians were on Friday warned by the country’s supreme leader not to trust the US and other “small and big enemies” of the country during commemorations of Ayatollah Khomeini who led the country through the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“We have many small and big enemies, but foremost among them are America and this very evil Britain,” said Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in a televised speech dedicated to the 27th anniversary of the death of Sayeed Rouhollah Khomeini, who was the first person to hold the highest office in post-revolutionary Iran.

The driving force behind the 1979 revolution was the rallying point for public outrage against Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had strong backing from the US and Britain while using secret police and martial law to subjugate his people. During his reign, a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew Iran’s elected government in 1953 for nationalising Britain-owned oil companies.

According to Khamenei, “America has continued its enmity towards Iran since the revolution”.

“It is a huge mistake to trust evil Britain and the Great Satan,” he added, referring to the US by a nickname often used by Iranian officials in anti-American speeches.

“Any individual or current which is working for Islam, if they trust America, they will be slapped in the face,” he said.

The Iranian leader said Iran would not cooperate with the US in regional affairs, because “their aims in the region are 180 degrees opposed to Iran’s”.

Iran and the US have a common enemy in the region, the terrorist group Islamic State. The US was leading an international coalition, which uses airstrikes and commando raids in an effort to eradicate the IS powerbase in Iraq and Syria.

Tehran provides commanders for militias fighting against IS in Iraq and Syria and is a major ally of the Syrian government. The US, on the other hand, said it wants the Syrian government ousted and had been supporting armed groups in Syria, which Washington deems moderate.

A period of eased tension between the US and Iran followed the signing last year of a nuclear deal under which Iran scaled down its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting of economic sanctions and technical expertise from foreign nuclear powers.

Khamenei, who voiced skepticism over the deal, despite not interfering with its negotiation, has since repeatedly accused the US of not holding its end of the bargain.

–IANS

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