Iran's US policy not affected by 'who comes and goes', Ayatollah Khamenei takes hostile stance
American intelligence came up with inputs a few months ago that along with Russia and China, Iran is also targeting to influence the November 3 elections to see the outcome going against incumbent President Donald Trump. National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina, said in a statement issued on August 7, that Tehran’s motivation is “in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s re-election would result in a continuation of US pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.” But Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has said that for his country, it doesn't matter who comes to the White House next.
Iran’s relationship with the US took a nosedive in the times of Trump as the latter in 2018 pulled the US out of the multilateral nuclear deal that his predecessor, President Barack Obama had made with the Middle Eastern nation in a bid to tame its military ambitions. The Trump administration has put more pressure on Iran after the pullout to make its life difficult, economically. In January, the situation worsened more after American troops killed a top Iranian military leader in Baghdad in neighboring Iraq.
While some observers believed the relationship between the two nations might see a de-escalation if Trump loses the election to Joe Biden, Khamenei on Tuesday, November 3, said that the results of the election will not make any difference for Tehran’s policy towards Washington, Reuters reported.
'It doesn't matter to us who comes and goes'
“Our policy towards the United States is clearly set and does not change with the movement of individuals. It does not matter to us who comes and goes,” Khamenei said in a speech which was carried live on state TV, the Reuters report added. He had made a similar statement in the wake of the nuclear deal that the previous Obama administration had penned in 2015.
The cleric’s latest remark against the US came on the 41st anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in the Iranian capital, which coincided with the birthday of Prophet Mohammad.
“The students’ attack on this den of spies was quite appropriate and wise,” Khamenei said, referring to the event in which 52 staff members were taken hostage for 444 days. The US and Iran share no diplomatic relations since then.
Khamenei’s latest belligerent stand is bound to create more uncertainty over Washington-Tehran relations especially after Biden pledged to rejoin the nuclear deal with six powers if Iran complies with it. Biden himself was part of the Obama administration that made the deal.
Iran foreign minister hopeful over Biden's words
On Monday, November 2, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told CBS News that he also wants the US to return to the accord but warned that “re-engagement does not mean renegotiation” because “if we wanted to do that [renegotiate], we would have done it with President (Donald) Trump four years ago.”
Zarif also said that the statements uttered by the Biden camp looked more promising but they would wait and watch.
Under the 2015 deal, international financial sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for restrictions to its nuclear programme. But after Trump walked out of the deal, Iran also reduced its compliance, making the situation more volatile.