Iran’s supreme leader dismisses Trump’s ‘rants and whoppers’, vows to shred nuclear deal if US quits

It was the supreme leader’s first response to Trump’s bellicose speech last Friday in which he called for tougher sanctions to curb Iran’s ‘destabilising activities’ in the Middle East

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 October, 2017, 7:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 October, 2017, 7:01pm

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday dismissed US President Donald Trump’s aggressive criticism as “rants and whoppers” and vowed to “shred” a 2015 nuclear deal if the United States pulled out.

“I don’t want to waste my time on answering the rants and whoppers of the brute US president,” Khamenei said in a speech to students in Tehran, published on his Telegram channel.

Khamenei spoke five days after Trump adopted a harsh new approach to Iran by refusing to certify its compliance with the deal, reached under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, and saying he might ultimately terminate it.

The move put Washington at odds with other parties to the accord – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – who say Washington cannot unilaterally cancel a multilateral accord enshrined by a UN resolution.

Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, welcomed their support but said it was not sufficient.

“Europe must stand against practical measures (taken) by America,” he said.

If Trump ditched the deal, “Iran will shred it”.

Khamenei also said Iran was determined to continue its disputed ballistic missile programme despite the pressure from Europe and the United States to suspend it.

Tehran has said it is developing missiles solely for defensive purposes.

“They must avoid interfering in our defence programme, ” Khamenei said.

“They (Europeans) ask why does Iran have missiles? Why do you have missiles yourselves? Why do you have nuclear weapons? We do not think it is acceptable for the Europeans to join America in its bullying.”

Khamenei said the world should not be fooled by Trump’s public persona.

“The US president displays stupidity, but this should not cause us to ignore America’s mischief,” he said.

Agence France-Presse and Reuters