Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that the United States decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a sign of “helplessness” and in his belief the fate of countries that “follow” the U.S. is “annihilation”.
Khamenei made this remark during a speech delivered to Iranian and foreign dignitaries attending the Islamic Unity Conference taking place in Tehran this week.
This was the first significant Iranian reaction so far against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The leader of the Islamic Republic also said that “The language we use with the followers of America in the region, is the language of advice…we advise them that serving the wrongdoers of the world is to their disadvantage and as the Koran has commanded, partnering with wrongdoers has no future other than annihilation”.
Although Khamenei did not single out any country, but it appears his aim was Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a bitter rivalry and war of words in the region, which has intensified in recent years, as Iran has deepened its military involvement in Syria and Iraq and has been supporting the Huthi rebels in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia has intervened militarily to prevent a complete Huthi victory.
The U.S., Israel and Gulf Arab states accuse Iran of engaging in destabilizing policies in the Middle East, by arming proxy forces, building a growing and advanced ballistic missile arsenal, which potentially can be used to carry nuclear weapons, and meddling in the affairs of regional countries.
In his remarks Khamenei also accused the U.S. of intending to ignite a war in the region through its “followers” who are “the pharos of today”. They “dance to the tune” of America, he added and do whatever America asks them to do “against Islam”.
Khamenei is often called the “world leader of Moslems” in Iran as the Islamic Republic attempts to claim legitimacy as the only true defender of the faith.
Iranian leaders and IRGC commanders often use threatening language when they speak about the U.S. and its allies in the region.
Two weeks ago, IRGC commander, General Mohammad Ali Jafari also threatened Saudi Arabia with retaliation by the “resistance front”; a term coined for Iran and its allies in the region.
Recently, Saudi officials have also adopted a harsh language against the Islamic Republic. Last month, crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman called Khamenei “a new Hitler…in the Middle East”, in an interview with the New York Times.
Regarding the U.S. decision on Jerusalem, Khamenei also said that Washington’s “hands are tied” in the Palestine issue and “they cannot realize their goals”.