Friday, May 20th | 19 Iyyar 5782

May 9, 2018 11:06 am

Tehran Regime Distrusts European Powers ‘Like We Don’t Trust USA,’ Iranian Leader Declares

avatar by Ben Cohen

A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Sept. 27, 2017. Photo: Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi / TIMA via Reuters.

Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, cast fresh doubts on the survival of the 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday when he admitted frankly that the Tehran regime views France, Germany and the UK with the same suspicion as it does the United States.

“We do not trust the three European countries, like we don’t trust the US,” Khamenei said, during an address in Tehran to university professors one day after President Donald Trump announced that the US was exiting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the technical name for the nuclear deal reached between Iran, the US and five world powers in July 2015.

“Without receiving a strong guarantee from these three European countries, we won’t stick to the nuclear agreement,” Khamenei declared. His comment notably undercut the commitment made on Tuesday by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to remain in the JCPOA while “pursuing constructive engagement with the world.”

Khamenei attacked what he called Trump’s “silly and superficial” address on Tuesday, in which the US president outlined his reasons for nixing the deal. Trump cited the JCPOA’s “weak” inspection regime for Iran’s nuclear facilities, Tehran’s pursuit of ballistic missiles, and the surge of Iranian military interventions in conflicts across the Middle East as his chief concerns.

“Mr. Trump I tell you on behalf of the Iranian nation: You are making a damn mistake,” Khamenei asserted.

MPs in the Iranian parliament ceremonially burn a US flag on May 9. Photo: Screenshot.

Khamenei warned that any Iranian concessions to the US would inevitably lead to the American government demanding more. “We accepted the JCPOA, but enmities with the Islamic Republic did not end,” he said. “Now they raise the issue of our presence in the region and the issue of missiles. If we accept them too, they will bring up another issue.”

Khamenei — who has occupied the regime’s highest office since 1989 — added that Trump’s “ugly and silly behavior” was no different from that of his predecessors.

“Those ex-presidents have died and their bones are rotten, but the Islamic Republic is still there,” he said.

As if to underline the Khamenei’s message, a group of Iranian parliamentarians gathered on the podium of their chamber on Wednesday to set fire to a US flag, chanting “Death to America” and stamping on the flag’s ashes.

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