Khamenei blasts ‘clown’ Trump in Tehran sermon

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Friday blasted US President Donald Trump and called him a “clown” who only pretends to support the Iranian people but will “push a poisonous dagger” into their backs.

The comments by Khamenei, quoted by The Associated Press, came in his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years.

Khamenei said the mass funerals for Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US air strike earlier this month, show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its recent trials. He added that the “cowardly” killing of Soleimani had taken out the most effective commander in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

In response, Iran launched a barrage of ballistic missiles targeting US troops in Iraq, a strike which Khamenei had dealt a “blow to America’s image” as a superpower.

In part of the sermon delivered in Arabic, he said the “real punishment” would be in forcing the US to withdraw from the Middle East.

Khamenei called the shootdown of the Ukrainian plane, which occurred shortly after the attack on the Iraqi bases, a “bitter accident” that saddened Iran as much as it made its enemies happy. He said Iran’s enemies had seized on the crash to question the Islamic Republic, the Revolutionary Guard and the armed forces.

He also lashed out at Western countries, saying they are too weak to “bring Iranians to their knees.” He said that Britain, France and Germany, which this week triggered a dispute mechanism to try and bring Iran back into compliance with the unraveling 2015 nuclear agreement, were “contemptible” governments and “servants” of the United States.

The last time Khamenei delivered a Friday sermon was in February 2012, when he called Israel a “cancerous tumor” and vowed to support anyone confronting it.

Khamenei regularly verbally attacks Israel. He has several times in the past threatened to “annihilate” the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

In November, he stressed, however, that his country is not against the Jews, only against the “Israeli regime” and the State of Israel, which he described as an “imposed state”.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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