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Khamenei Urges Iranian Officials Not to Trust Europe

IRAN -- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a meeting with Iranians from the East Azerbaijan province, in Tehran, February 18, 2019

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Monday officials not to be deceived by European countries, which have offered Iran a trade mechanism despite U.S. sanctions.

Major EU countries opposed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and pledged to help keep the deal in force.

But the trade mechanism called INSTEX is limited to selling medicines and food and Iranian officials have been criticizing Europe in recent days for not doing more to keep Iran satisfied and committed to the nuclear agreement.

"America's enmity towards Iran is obvious. Our enemies' unclean hearts are full of enmity towards the Islamic Republic ... our officials should not be deceived by the Europeans ... don't be fooled by Europeans," Khamenei said, according to Iranian media.

The Persian word Khamenei used for “unclean” has a Shiite Islamic connotation of meaning “untouchable”, such as an infidel or an animal.

The aging Supreme Leader who faces multiple crises urged government and state officials to “recognize friend and foe”, saying that even the enemy’s smiles are not to be trusted.