Iran must 'stand against' US says supreme leader
Iran's supreme leader has said that Tehran must stand strong against the US in the Middle East, during an address to commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards force.
"The Americans insist we negotiate with them on regional issues, especially on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in the speech published on his official website.
"What is their main goal for requesting these talks? They have no aim but to prevent the presence in the region of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the main factor of America's failures," said Khamenei.
Major generals Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Revolutionary Guards chief, and Qassem Suleimani, head of its foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, were among hundreds of members who attended the speech.
Khamenei, whose country has not had diplomatic relations with Washington since 1980, stressed that military power and intimidation were the most effective means to keep foreign threats at bay.
"In past years, some officials have said the removal of military threat and war were due to certain measures, but it's not true," he said.
"The sole factor of removing military threats has been and will remain military and defence power and the creation of fear in the enemy."
In an earlier speech in July, Khamenei said Iran would "never coordinate" with the US in Syria and other regional conflicts.
|What is their main goal for requesting these talks? They have no aim but to prevent the presence in the region of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the main factor of America's failures.
- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Tehran refuses to work with the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State group militants across Syria and Iraq, he maintained, accusing Washington of attempting to disrupt the Islamic Republic's status in the region.
"We don't want such a coordination as their main objective is to stop Iran's presence in the region," he said, urging the US to stop interfering in the region and accusing it of "acting aggressively" towards Iran.
"Americans are still engaged in hostility against the nation of Iran, be it the Congress or the US administration," he said."Those who believe in looking to the West for the progress of the country have lost their minds because wisdom tells us to learn from experience."