A senior Iranian cleric criticized suggestions of negotiations with the United States, and called it “yielding”.
“Under the current circumstances, negotiating with America is surrender and surrendering is abjection,” Ahmad Khatami told a congregation in Tehran.
The senior Assembly of Experts member devoted most of his Friday sermon to expressing concern over the consequences of the comprehensive US sanctions.
“There has not been one moment in the past forty years that we have not been in conflict with the US. That’s why we beat America in the world. (US President) Trump has repeatedly expressed concern over the ‘death to America’ slogan. He constantly moans that the Iranian people are saying death to America. Death to America means death to Trump and (National Security Advisor) Bolton,” Khatami said adding that the regime would destroy “the new US plan for the Middle East”.
He equated US enforced sanctions to Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq and said that Iranians would also participate in the fight against the US as they did against Saddam and would “crush the US’s teeth”.
Iranians blame the regime for their economic woes as is evident in recent protests. They refer to the regime when they chant, “our enemy is right here; They lie when they say it’s the US”.
Khatami’s remarks come after the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that the regime’s “enemies” were in “combat mode” warning his supporters to be prepared.
In a televised speech on Wednesday Ali Khamenei said that the “enemy” was attacking the regime’s economy and politics while also infiltrating the country’s intelligence systems.
Reiterating Khamenei’s remarks, the head of Mashhad’s Friday Prayers told a Friday congregation in the Eastern city that the whole country should go into “combat mode”. “The Supreme Leader noted that… we had to go into combat mode. This was not a suggestion by the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader is the Commander in Chief… and he has given a command to go into combat mode. This command incorporates officials, the government, the parliament and the Judiciary and also every single Iranian,” Ahmad Alamolhoda said.