TEHRAN -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says experience has shown “trusting the West does not work,” as the Islamic Republic prepares for a new administration to take power.
Ayatollah Khamenei also blasted the U.S. for tying its return to the 2015 nuclear accord to “future” negotiations on Iran’s missile program and regional issues.
The deal was torpedoed in 2018 by then U.S. president Donald Trump, who unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and imposed punishing sanctions.
“Others should use your experiences. This experience is a distrust of the West,” Ayatollah Khamenei told President Hassan Rouhani and members of his cabinet in a farewell meeting. “In this government, it was shown up that trust in the West does not work.”
Rouhani’s government has been holding talks with major powers in Vienna since April on bringing Washington back into the agreement, but a deal now seems unlikely until after he hands over to President-elect Ebrahim Raisi early next month.
Ayatollah Khamenei flatly rejected adding any other issues to the deal.
“In the recent nuclear talks, the Americans staunchly insisted on their obstinate stance. When making promises and on paper they say they will remove sanctions, but in practice they have not and they will not,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Washington is “stubborn” and insists on adding a sentence to the existing nuclear deal.
“By adding this sentence, they want to provide an excuse for their further interventions on the nuclear deal and (Iran’s) missile work and regional issues,” the Leader said. “Then if we refuse to discuss those issues, Americans will accuse Iran of violating the nuclear deal and they will say the agreement is over.”
One of the major criticisms of the 2015 deal raised by Trump was its failure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program. But Tehran has always rejected bringing non-nuclear issues into the agreement, which is known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Ayatollah Khamenei also criticized the U.S. for refusing to “guarantee that it will not violate the agreement in the future” by pulling out unilaterally, as Trump did in 2018.
“The Americans acted completely cowardly and maliciously,” the Leader said. “They once violated the nuclear deal at no cost by exiting it. Now they explicitly say that they cannot give guarantees that it would not happen again.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said domestic programs should in no way be tied to Western states under any circumstances due to the proven failure of such an approach.
“Wherever you tied your work to the West, you failed, and wherever you rose and moved forward without trusting the West, you succeeded,” the Leader said.
“Whenever you postponed issues with agreements with the West or negotiations with the West and America and the like, you were stuck and could not progress,” the Leader said. “Because they don’t help. They are the enemy after all.”