Al-Monitor – Iran has reacted to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech in Cairo with both ridicule and disdain, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning against taking seriously anything coming out of the Donald Trump administration — whether threats or promises.
Why it matters: In explaining his perception of the Middle East, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo portrayed Iran as the root of all evil, promising intensified punishment for the Islamic Republic until it abandons its nuclear and missile programs as well as its present foreign policy priorities. Pompeo stated, “America’s economic sanctions against the Iranian regime are the strongest in history and will keep getting tougher. Until Iran starts behaving like a normal country, the 12 demands that we stated in May will remain in force because the threat to the region endures.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif promptly took to Twitter to denounce Pompeo’s speech, writing shortly afterward that “the day Iran mimics US clients & @SecPompeo’s ‘human rights models ’ — be it the shah or current butchers — to become a ‘normal’ country is the day hell freezes over.” He added, “Best for the US to just get over loss of Iran,” referring to the fall of the US-backed shah in 1979. Zarif’s reaction was preceded by comments by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday. “Some US officials are like clowns. … Such people’s threats, promises, and signatures are not reliable; you should mistrust them.”
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