Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Ayatollah Khamenei Explains ‘Death to America’ Slogan

In this picture released by the office of Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the country's diplomats in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Khamenei warned against importing consumer goods from the United States as the Islamic republic prepares for the lifting of sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The slogan “Death to America” is not aimed at the American people, but rather American policies, Iran’s supreme leader said in comments reported on his official website Tuesday, AFP reported.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the slogan while meeting with Iranian students ahead of the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979. Militant students stormed the compound and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since then. However, current President Hassan Rouhani has made efforts to improve relations, including a landmark nuclear agreement reached with world powers this past summer.

Ayatollah Khamenei says the “aim of the slogan is not death to American people. The slogan means death to U.S. policies and arrogance.” The slogan has “strong support” In Iran, he said.

He reiterated his warning that the U.S. is not to be trusted despite the nuclear deal reached with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. The agreement promises Tehran relief from crippling economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Ayatollah Khamenei also expressed his apparent belief that the U.S. “will not hesitate” if given a chance to destroy Iran.

“The nature of the U.S. attitude is continuation of the same hostile aims from the past, and the nation will not forget this,” Khamenei said.

However, anti-American sentiment is rife in Iran. As every year, ahead of the anniversary, the Tehran municipality displays anti-American posters and billboards along the Iranian capital’s main squares and key streets.

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