Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed Donald Trump’s warning to Iran to stop its missile tests, saying the new US president had shown the “real face” of American corruption.
In his first speech since Trump’s inauguration, Iran’s supreme leader called on Iranians to respond to Trump’s “threats” - which he said had failed to frighten Iranians - on Friday’s anniversary of the 1979 revolution.
“We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America,” Khamenei told a meeting of military commanders in Tehran, according to his website.
“During his election campaign and after that, he confirmed what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the U.S. ruling system,” he added.
Trump responded to a Jan. 29 Iranian missile test by saying “Iran is playing with fire” and slapping fresh sanctions on individuals and entities, some of them linked to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.
The White House said the test was not a direct breach of a 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers but “violates the spirit of that”. A U.N. Security Council resolution underpinning the pact urges Iran to refrain from testing missiles designed to be able to carry nuclear warheads, but imposes no obligation.
“No enemy can paralyse the Iranian nation,” Khamenei said. “(Trump) says ‘you should be afraid of me’. No! The Iranian people will respond to his words on Feb. 10 and will show their stance against such threats.”