Khamenei: U.S. sanctions on Iran bolstered regional standing

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khemenei hinted to the growing strain that U.S. sanctions are having on his country’s economy yet attempted to reassure his followers by claiming that ultimately the Islamic Republic will prevail. In a televised speech that focused on the growing hardships that emerged following the American withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement, the Iranian Supreme leader claimed that the Isolation of the Islamic Republic has forced Tehran to bolster its domestic production, which consequently turned Iran into the region’s unparalleled power.” While the economic-pressure on Iran is taking its toll, Khamenei claimed, the American sanctions will ultimately bring to Washington’s downfall. In his words, “The Americans cheerfully say that sanctions imposed against the Iranian nation are unprecedented throughout history. True, they are unparalleled. And, God willing, the defeat the Americans will suffer in this matter will be unprecedented (as well).”

The comments by the Iranian Supreme leader came one day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed Washington’s plans to “redouble” diplomatic and commercial efforts “to put real pressure on Iran.” As part of these efforts, the American top diplomat is currently travelling across the Middle East for meetings with Arab leaders, with the aim of bolstering support among Washington’s regional partners. Among others, Secretary Pompeo made an un-announced one-day visit to Iran’s Western neighbor, Iraq, where he met with the Iraqi leadership in Baghdad and Erbil. From there, Secretary Pompeo travelled to Egypt, where he held a meeting this morning with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. A State Department source told TV7 that “countering Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East was discussed in the Secretary’s meetings, as well as the U.S. policy in Syria after President Trump’s announcement of a military withdrawal.”