Khamenei: Iran has 'foiled' US plans in the Middle East

Khamenei: Iran has 'foiled' US plans in the Middle East
Iran's supreme leader used his Persian New Year speech to take a swing at the US, who he vowed 'will not reach its goals'.
2 min read
22 March, 2018
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the speech to mark Nowruz New Year celebrations [Anadolu]

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran has neutralised US plans in the Middle East, in a speech Wednesday marking the Persian New Year.

"Those who interfere in all the affairs of the world protest and ask: 'Why does Iran intervene in the affairs of Iraq and Syria?' What is it to you? The Islamic Republic of Iran has succeeded in neutralising US plans in the region," he said.

Khamenei accused the United States of planning to "create oppressive and rebel groups like Daesh (the Islamic State group) to distract people in the region from the Zionist regime (Israel) and keep them occupied with internal conflicts".

The Iranian leader's speech was delivered in the holy city of Masshad and broadcast on state television.

Iran is the main regional ally of the Syrian regime, which is also supported by Russia.

The two countries' support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has proved crucial in allowing him to claw back territory from rebel groups through a sustained and brutal military campaign.

Iran has also backed the government of Iran, however has been accused of fomenting sectarian tensions in the country through support for Shia militias accused of human rights abuses.

Khamenei said Iran was there "at the request of the governments and people" of those countries.

"Without a doubt, the United States will not reach its goals in the region and, thank God, we will achieve ours," he added.

His comments came after US President Donald Trump angered Iran over a message to its people on the occasion of the Nowruz New Year celebrations.

In the message, Trump said: "The Iranian people face another challenge: rulers who serve themselves instead of serving their people".

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Tuesday lashed out at the "absurd insults".