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Khamenei Vows To Take Revenge On Britain As He Calls For National Unity

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting with a group of clerics, in Tehran, July 16, 2019

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned the United Kingdom on Tuesday July 16 that Iran will take revenge for the detention of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar.

“Iran will respond to the vicious Britain’s piracy,” said Khamenei in his usual angry voice about the United Kingdom, adding that “Iran’s response will come at the right time and the right place.”

He charged that Britain has “lent piracy a lawful appearance,” warning that the Islamic Republic will “respond to the vicious act.”

Previously Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and the chief of the Iranian armed forces joint staff Mohammad Baqeri had also vowed to respond to what they called Britain’s “piracy,” referring to the British Royal Marine’s role in detaining Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar waters on July 4 on the charges of violating EU sanctions against Syria.

Elsewhere in his speech on Tuesday, Khamenei charged that Europe has failed to fulfil its obligations under the nuclear deal with Iran in 11 cases, citing Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif on what he described as Europeans’ breach of the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, he said Iran will “certainly continue to reduce its commitments” to the nuclear deal with the West, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has breached its commitments under the JCPOA by exceeding uranium enrichment beyond the 3.67 percent level and violating the 300-kilogram limit on stockpiling enriched Uranium during recent weeks, UN nuclear watchdog IAEA has confirmed. Tehran also says that it might enrich uranium up to 20 percent by September.

Nevertheless, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday that none of the signatories to the JCPOA believe that Iran has seriously violated the terms of the JCPOA.

Khamenei characterized Europeans as “arrogant” and their behavior as “outrageous,” adding that these characteristics have prevented them from understanding realities.

Following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Washington reimposed heavy sanctions that paralyzed Iran’s economy. Subsequently, the three European countries remaining in the deal, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, promised to save the deal by offering a financial mechanism to would help Iran to carry out limited trade with Europe regardless of U.S. sanctions.

Iran has been constantly complaining that Europe has not been doing enough to save the nuclear deal while calling on Europe to purchase oil from Iran.

Later in his speech, Khamenei addressed domestic political issues. He said he was pleased to see that the nation and officials no longer pinned their hopes on foreigners and hoped that this will lead to economic achievements.

Iran's economic isolation created by the anti-Western and interventionist foreign policy of its current rulers is one of the main reasons why it suffers from anemic growth, high unemployment, an astronomically devalued currency and a host of other economic and social issues.

Khamenei made the remarks during a meeting with Friday Prayer Imams of various cities on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of starting to hold Friday prayers congregations in Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

He advised Friday prayer imams not to take confrontational positions against government bodies and officials. “It is not wrong to talk about problems, but the imams should not discuss problems in the executive and judiciary bodies and other organizations as soon as they notice there is a problems, as this will increase differences and disturb the people’s peace of mind.”