Iran Not In A Hurry To Negotiate With US, Says Khamenei Insisting On Regional Presence
Iran is in no hurry for the return of the United States to the 2015 nuclear deal. What is important for Iran is an end to US sanctions, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a speech on Friday, January 8.
Khamenei also said importing Covid-19 vaccine from the United States and the United Kingdom is forbidden.
Khamenei's comments about Iran's missile power, its determination to be a regional player, its enmity against the United States, and its odd opposition to US and UK-made COVID-19 vaccines were marked with a tone of defiance and paranoia.
"The enemies will begin to take into account our military power in their calculations when they see that Iranian missiles can down US drones and demolish Ain al-Assad base," he said.
Khamenei reiterated his opposition to negotiations with the United States by saying, "Some people think Iran will become a paradise as a result of negotiations with America, but that is not true. Look at Iran under the Shah. Look at the situation of regional countries!"
Khamenei’s comment about conditions during the monarchy come at a time that in recent years many Iranians look with strong nostalgia to the pre-1979 period, when people in Iran enjoyed social freedoms and religion was largely a personal choice. Protesters in the last three years have shouted slogans against the Islamic republic, praising the monarchy for modernizing Iran in the 20th century.
Khamenei criticized the US election, democracy and human rights: "They kill a black man everyday with no reason and the murderers are at large," he said. "People of the world mock their values as their economy ids ailing and millions are hungry and unemployed," he continued.
Khamenei claimed that Iran is standing against the United States' destabilizing behavior in the region. "Our objective is one of creating a great Islamic civilization, if not for this generation for the next one," he said.
He stressed that "Iran should behave in a way that would empower its friends and allies in the region. Our presence in the region is a stabilizing force. Our presence in the region is essential and should continue."
The United States, Israel, the Persian Gulf Arab states and to an extent European powers object to what Iran calls its “peaceful and stabilizing” presence in the region, which boils down to supporting and arming militant and proxy groups.
Speaking on the US sanctions, he said: "Our enemies should lift the sanctions. They should stop all the sanctions immediately." He added that the West is against the Iranian nation, not simply the ruling regime.
"America's return to the nuclear deal will be meaningful only if the sanctions are lifted beforehand. Without lifting the sanctions, the US return to the nuclear deal may not be useful for Iran," said Khamenei.
Meanwhile, Khamenei expressed support for the recent Majles legislation that calls for doing away with some of Iran’s obligations regarding enrichment under the nuclear deal.
"Nevertheless, we should run our economy in a way as if the sanctions are not going to be lifted," Khamenei cautioned.
Regarding the country's defensive power, Khamenei said Iran should be powerful so that no one such as Saddam Hussain could come and bomb the Iranian capital. "The enemies will begin to take into account our military power in their calculations when they see that Iranian missiles can down US drones and demolish Ain al-Assad base," he said.