U.S. officials reject 'abhorrent' comments by Iranian leader
A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, shows him delivering a speech during a gathering of Basij in Tehran on November 20, 2013.
November 21st, 2013
04:17 PM ET

U.S. officials reject 'abhorrent' comments by Iranian leader

By Jamie Crawford

They may have been directed to a domestic audience, but some offensive remarks from Iran's supreme leader drew heated responses from senior officials in the Obama administration.

At issue were remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to a gathering of senior military officials in Tehran earlier this week in which he said Israeli officials "cannot be even called humans," and referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "the rabid dog of the region."

"Well, obviously we disagree with it profoundly," Secretary of State John Kerry said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

"It's inflammatory and it's unnecessary, and I think at this moment, when we are trying to negotiate and figure out what can and can't be achieved, the last thing we need are names back and forth," Kerry said.

In an interview on CNN's New Day on Thursday, Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, called Khamenei's comments "abhorrent."

The comments from the supreme leader came as negotiators from Iran, Germany and the five permanent members of the Security Council, known as the P5+1, meet in Geneva to try and narrow outstanding differences and come to an agreement on Iran's disputed nuclear program.

While the Western powers work toward an agreement that would ultimately roll back an Iranian march toward a nuclear weapon, Tehran is looking for concessions to the economic sanctions that are strangling its economy.

With negotiations continuing into the evening hours in Geneva on Thursday, the discussions have yet to yield an agreement between all sides of the talks.

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading the talks, told CNN discussions were ongoing between Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"There will almost certainly not be any deal today as Ashton and Zarif will be going back into negotiations," Michael Mann, the spokesman for Ashton, told CNN.

He went on to say the talks were "substantial and detailed," and were "seeking further progress."

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Filed under: Iran • Khamenei • Sec. State John Kerry
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Jerry Schull

    This old man needs to shut-up, he's not helping the Iranian people.

    Look, I understand his comments about Netanyahu. Netanyahu is a war monger, whose claim to power in Israel is inciting fear. But Ali Khamenei's comments just reinforce Netanyahu's position. How DUMB is that? I think the man may be senile.

    As far as his comments on the Israeli people. Well, that's just uncalled for. He obviously doesn't know these people. He should shut-up.

    December 12, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Im an iranian .i agree that khamenei doesnt help iran but u cant say about iran when u dont know anything about it.

      February 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  2. Jay

    Iran's current President, Hassan Rouhani, has stated and I quote, "The Beautiful Cry of Death to America Unites our Nation." During his campaign earlier this year, he has repeatedly said and again I quote, "Saying Death to America is easy, we need to express Death to America with action." Those were his exact words in an effort to get elected; however, I do not believe for one second all of a sudden he has changed his mind. Was he lying to the Iranian people to get elected or telling the truth. I feel that is how he feels about America; he's a politician, need I say more. He is lying and has an ulterior motive.

    The current speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani, has also voiced a hatred for the United States. He stated these exact words, "The time has come for the disappearance of the West from the Universe." Several other leaders in the Iranian government has expressed similar statements.

    The current leader of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization armed and supported by Iran recently stated, "Our hostility to The Great Satan America is Absolute, Death to America." He further stated, Israel and America are the foremost enemy of Islam. The former President of Iran stated Israel must be wiped off the map. Iran is a country that has two current leaders that state, "We need to kill the Non Muslims and put them to the sword." Iran is a country where anti-American demonstrations are the norm.

    Russia and China are not too concerned because this fanatical country is not out to kill their innocent people; therefore, Russia and China do not have the same interest at stake in keeping the original sanctions. By easing sanctions, we just rewarded Iran with $800 billion and they are laughing all the way to the bank. Furthermore, there will be an influx of eastern countries like Russia and China doing business with Iran. If Iran is not trying to make nuclear weapons, why not just stick to the original agreement and all sanctions would be been removed; end of discussion.

    Every inspector, not one single one will tell you otherwise, that Iran was being deceptive and prevented inspections from be completed. There was a good reason for that. The reports from the inspectors revealed they were not forthcoming and some inspectors out right said they felt they were hiding something. Although the vast majority of the world knew that including Obama. The Iranian government is deceitful and can't be trusted. Just when the sanctions were starting to work, the sanctions are being eased. Why give in to the demands of a country that hates the West, supports terrorism, and is a threat to mankind. It baffles me why any government would agree to this with the exception of China and Russia who stand to benefit economically from the easing of the sanctions since Iran is where China and Russia buy oil from and plan on expanding business with Iran now that the sanctions are going to be eased bolstering their economy at our expense. If Iran showed hatred and wanted to kill the people of Russia and China, the original sanctions would still be in place and increased, not decreased. China and Russia are going to try very hard to make things as easy on Iran as possible due to the fact they will benefit.

    It's not like Iran doesn't have oil, they have enough oil for 10 Iran's. Iran has more oil than any country with the exception of just a few; therefore, they are not as dependent on nuclear energy like most of the entire world due to how much oil they have.

    This deal will also strain US relationships with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and other countries who know the importance of standing our ground and not easing sanctions and by easing sanctions is rewarding a country for defying the original agreement. Expect those countries to want nuclear weapons as well and as a direct result, could possibly start a nuclear arms race in the middle east.

    This deal shows we are weak and Iran won the battle by holding out, stalling and sweet talking in order to defy the original agreement. Money is also a factor because with a deal, crude oil goes down and the stock market goes up; however, no one will remember when Hezbollah gets a nuclear bomb compliments of Iran and a US city or Israel gets blown up. What's to say Hezbollah won't be running Iran in a year or two; it's not out of the ordinary to think such a thing since they are gaining favor with each month that passes. The main reason for that is there hatred for Israel and America. The current President got elected for hateful comments toward America during his campaign and many Iranians feel he is betraying them. This also works in Hezbollah's favor.
    Our world just became a more dangerous place. Please call your congressman and urge them now is not the time to reward a country that supports terrorism and hates America.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      oh.lol pls dont say about hassan rouhani.u r a silly because u insolence to the iranian people.

      February 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  3. CharlieSeattle

    Islam is NOT a religion. It is a terrorist ideology!

    November 28, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      u are sick.u cant insult to other religion.

      February 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  4. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    November 23, 2013 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • Dieter621

      You numbers are all made up. How about the terrorism that Iran sponsors? How many dead Arabs are they responsible for all under the name of Islam, the religion of love and peace? They do not mince words and promise to use the bomb when they finally develop it. The Shah was a pro western leader seeking to educate his people but was backstabbed by Jimmy Carter. Obama sold out the Egyptian people to the Muslim Brotherhood and the internal bloodshed continues. We will soon sell out the Saudi's but first have to secure oil for our nation.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I agree . u r right.

      February 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  5. Jim

    To assure that we all see a nuclear war within our lifespan, all we need do is allow Iran to continue their efforts towards a nuclear weapon ....the way we are right now.

    November 22, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
  6. Kim

    With one serious threat of military strike the Atomic sites including the recent expanded underground tunnels in the Mubarake city, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards will shut down all.

    November 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  7. Neda

    In this picture, in front of supreme leader they have written in Farsi "Toward of the expanded islamic government countries"!!

    November 21, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  8. Mike

    He loves money and power plus bomb! he's tough to any preventive of his plans!

    November 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  9. sara

    Have you heard what Netanyahu and his criminal gang regularly say about Iran and Iranians? Why the double standard?

    November 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      u r right. iran is love and iranian people too.

      February 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  10. George patton

    Can anyone truly blame this Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after the heated warmongering rhetorical speeches made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel? I cannot!

    November 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • Trevor

      Its called "international etiquette"...its been around oh, for a while now pal...how "professional" leaders of civilized nations are supposed to "talk" when making statements to the international community.

      If you think its wise to hurl derogatory insults at another country...that is probably the reason you're not even in charge of your local neighborhood watch group...they don't want to be embarrassed.

      November 23, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply

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