Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the country’s youth that they will witness the demise of Israel and the US.
“You young people should be assured that you will witness the demise of the enemies of humanity, meaning the degenerate American civilisation, and the demise of Israel,” Khamenei said in a meeting with students on Wednesday.
The comments were published on his official website. Khamenei also said Iran’s President and Foreign Minister didn’t act as he wished in implementing the 2015 nuclear deal. He did not detail how he thought Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif should have implemented the agreement, but hard-line politicians in Iran have for years criticised the deal for acquiescing too much to the West without enough economic benefit for Iran.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have escalated following US President Donald Trump’s decision last May to pull out of the nuclear agreement, which limited Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
Tensions increased further this month, with the US announcing additional economic measures against Tehran, before deploying an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the region to counter the threat from Iran and Iranian-backed proxies to US personnel. Trump tweeted on Sunday that Iran would be destroyed if it attacked US interests.
In response, Iran has quadrupled its production capacity of low-enriched uranium and will soon exceed the stockpile limitations set by the nuclear agreement. Iran said European signatories to the nuclear deal had until 7 July to agree new terms, or it will begin to enrich higher grade uranium.
Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman of the Supreme National Security Council, said Iran will not hold talks with the US “under any circumstances” while the rights of the Islamic republic are not respected. He emphasised: “We have said clearly … as long as the rights of our nation are not satisfied, as long as words don’t change into action, our path will stay the same as now.”