Iran will never coordinate with United States, says Khamenei
Tehran refuses to work with the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State 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," Khamenei said in a transcript from a speech to university students published on his website.
The Supreme Leader urged the US to stop interfering in the region where it is currently heavily engaged in fighting the militants. Washington is still acting aggressively towards Iran, he alleged, despite efforts to end Iran's isolation following the historic nuclear deal.
"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," Khamenei added.
The remarks follow claims by Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad – a key ally of the Iranian regime – who alleged Western governments have been secretly cooperating with his regime in "counter-terrorism operations".
"They [Western governments] attack us politically and then they send officials to deal with us under the table – especially security – including your [the Australian] government," he told the CBS reporter during an interview aired last Friday.
"They don't want to upset the United States. Actually, most of the Western officials, they only repeat what the United States want them to say. This is the reality."
Western powers are increasingly concerned about the threat of extremist militants in Syria, especially the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, al-Nusra Front.
The Washington Post reported last week that the Obama administration has proposed a new deal with Russia, whereby the two countries would work together in fighting al-Nusra Front.
In exchange, Russia would pressure the Syrian regime to stop bombing US-backed Syrian rebels.
The deal, which was reportedly approved by President Barack Obama and sent to Moscow on Monday, would see the two countries – who have stood on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict – join forces against militants for the first time.
Russia and Iran have thrown their weight behind Damascus, with Russian war planes bombing opposition towns and Tehran sending in thousands of fighters to bolster the regime.