Khamenei: Iran Will Not Tolerate US Threats

May 6, 2015

On May 6, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that negotiating with the world's six major powers on the nuclear dispute under the shadow of threat” is unacceptable for Iran. “How dare U.S. officials threaten Iran militarily? In 2007, I said that hit-and-run attacks are no longer possible; you will get involved.” Khamenei seemed to refer to a few U.S. officials who recently tried to ease concerns about Iran’s compliance with a potential deal by noting that Washington will always have a military option if necessary:

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter
“We have the capability to shut down, set back and destroy the Iranian nuclear program and I believe the Iranians know that and understand that.”
—May 1, 2015 in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett
 
Secretary of State John Kerry
“I say to every Israeli today we have the ability to stop them if they decided to move quickly to a bomb, and I absolutely guarantee that in the future we will have the ability to know what they’re doing so that we could still stop them if they decided to move to a bomb.  We don’t give one option up that we have today.  We have various options – sanctions, we have a military option.”
—April 30, 2015 in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 News 
 
Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting Benjamin Rhodes
“If Iran violates all options are on the table… The president, this president or the next president, will have all options on the table including military one. If there is a violation, all options will be considered.”
—May 4, 2015 in an interview with Israeli television stations
 
Khamenei, who viewed these remarks as threats, reacted in an address to teachers that also covered the crisis in Yemen. The following are excerpts.

“Never allow the other side to impose its will, exercise force, humiliate or threaten you.”

“They [Americans] are deeply in need to make this claim that they have made Iran sit to the negotiating table and imposed certain points on it.”
“Resolving economic problems requires our own planning, will and ability, no matter if the sanctions are in place or not.”
 
“Of course, if the sanctions are removed, the economic problems could be solved more easily, but their resolution will be possible if the sanctions continue.”