Iran has reacted to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech in Cairo with both ridicule and disdain, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning against taking seriously anything coming out of the Donald Trump administration - whether threats or promises.
On Wednesday, Khamenei dubbed some U.S. officials "first-class idiots" as he ridiculed them for predicting the collapse of the Islamic Republic.
He referenced a US official who had purportedly said that he would celebrate Christmas in Iran. "Of course I don't agree with that, but they are first-class idiots".More news: Steelers president on Antonio Brown: ‘We’ll look at all the options’
Khamenei was having a dig at USA officials who had predicted there would be regime change in Iran by the end of 2018.
"The sanctions do put pressure on the country and the people".
This has included national-security adviser John Bolton who often speaks at gatherings of the exiled People's Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK) opposition group, considered a terrorist movement by Tehran's leaders. Pompeo, on Wednesday, met with prominent Iraqi leaders in Baghdad to discuss, among other things, how to best curb Iranian influence, according to Al Jeezera.More news: AFC Asian Cup: Upbeat India face UAE test
President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has made similar comments before the group. On Tuesday, the US top diplomat threatened that America would double down on commercial and diplomatic efforts in the coming weeks to "put real pressure on Iran".
Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, Trump's decision last year to withdraw from the nuclear deal has seen the 79-year-old cleric grow increasingly critical. In 2017, he criticized President Donald Trump for calling Iran a "terrorist" nation.
"These sanctions hit at the core areas of Iran's economy", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the time.More news: Police Issue Warrant for Cristiano Ronaldo's DNA in Rape Case
Speaking on Wednesday, Khamenei took aim at renewed sanctions implemented by President Donald Trump's administration after the president withdrew the USA from the global Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, last year.