Iran leader says bid to isolate Iran failed amid regional diplomacy – Middle East Monitor
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Tuesday that efforts by Western countries to isolate Iran have backfired, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Iran started the New Year on Tuesday with events across the country. Khamenei’s speech at the shrine of Imam Reza in the northeastern city of Mashhad came after three years of the pandemic.
In his traditional New Year’s speech, Khamenei said that Iran’s relations with Western countries have weakened but that the country’s foreign policy focused on the neighborhood has succeeded while referring to the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The restoration of diplomatic ties between the two arch-enemies, Khamenei said, has been widely welcomed throughout the Arab world and has dealt a “devastating blow” to the US government.
He said that Iran plans to further improve its ties with Asian countries, as well as countries in Africa and Latin America. He also expressed that he was prepared to improve relations with European countries “that do not follow American policy (on Iran) blindly.”
His comments came amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over the impasse over the 2015 nuclear deal, recent protests in the country and the war in Ukraine.
In recent weeks, following the agreement made by China between Tehran and Riyadh to restore diplomatic ties after seven years, regional dynamics have seen tectonic changes with Iran making efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait and break the diplomatic ice with Bahrain. .
Khamenei accused the US and its allies, including Israel, of trying to overthrow the government in Tehran and “change the identity of the Islamic Republic”.
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Regarding the anti-government protests in Iran, Khamenei said that the President of the United States “openly supported” the “riots”, adding that “some insiders” also supported the “regime change” call given by “foreigners “.
The nationwide protests sparked the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in mid-September 2022. Hundreds have been killed in months of unrest, as Western states have imposed fresh sanctions on Iran.
The latest round of eight EU and UK human rights sanctions on Iran came on Monday, with at least one entity and individuals named for rights violations.
Khamenei also spoke about the year-long war in Ukraine, saying Iran “clearly declares” that it has no involvement in the war, while blaming the US and its allies for fueling the conflict.
The Iranian leader said that the US “benefits the most” from the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February last year and is preempting efforts aimed at ending the conflict.