On February 7, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced President Donald Trump in an address to air force commanders. He thanked Trump for revealing the “true face” of the United States. “What we have been saying, for over thirty years, about political, economic, moral, and social corruption within the U.S. ruling establishment, he came out and exposed during the election campaigns and after the elections,” said Khamenei. When asked about the supreme leader’s comments, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “I think Iran is kidding itself if they do not realize that there’s a new president in town.” The following are excerpts from Khamenei’s speech, Iranian press coverage and the White House response.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
“He [Obama] was the president who imposed paralyzing sanctions on the Iranian nation; of course, he did not achieve what he desired. No enemy can ever paralyze the Iranian nation.”
#Trump says be scared of me! No, Iranians will respond to such words with Feb. 10 rallies & will show what is their position toward threats.— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) February 7, 2017
We appreciate Trump! Because he largely did the job for us in revealing true face of America.— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) February 7, 2017
What we’ve been saying in thirty some years – of corruption in US government – #Trump has outspokenly said during his campaign & in office.— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) February 7, 2017
"Trump did it [revealed U.S. corruption] in a few days after coming to the White House; their claims to human rights are no longer tenable and had been belied by their own action to discredit hollow claims."
"We should thank late Imam [Ruhollah] Khomeini who had frequently been recommending against reliance on the Great Devil and its treacherous conduct; now the truth is before our eyes, bare and clear."
"Their claims to human rights are no longer tenable."
Iranian Press Coverage
Supreme Leader in a meeting with Air Force Personnel
American human rights means handcuffing a 5 year-old kid
We will answer Trump on the 22nd of Bahman
Iranians are not afraid of threats
No Enemy Can Paralyze the Nation of Iran
Supreme Leader: Mr. Newcomer exposed America’s corruption, thank you
The nation will answer Trump on 22 Bahman (February 10)
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
“I think the … ayatollah is going to realize that there is a new president in office. This president is not going to sit by and let Iran flout its violations or its apparent violations to the joint agreement. But he will continue to take action as he sees fit. The president has also made clear time and time again that he’s not going to project what his action will be, and he will not take anything off the table. But I think Iran is kidding itself if they do not realize that there’s a new president in town.”
—Feb. 7, 2017, during a press briefing