Tough talk from Iran

Out­spo­ken Ay­a­tol­lah tells US to take war­ships out of Ara­bian Gulf de­spite on­go­ing war on ter­ror

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By 7DAYS News Team @7DAYSUAE

Iran’s Supreme Leader has crit­i­cised the pres­ence of US war­ships in the Ara­bian Gulf, say­ing Amer­i­can forces should re­turn to the Bay of Pigs.

Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei de­liv­ered his in­flam­ma­tory speech to a group of teach­ers yes­ter­day, claim­ing US mil­i­tary drills in the re­gion were proof of ar­ro­gance.

His rhetoric was clearly de­signed to stir up anti-US sen­ti­ment at a time when ten­sions be­tween the sides have thawed fol­low­ing the sign­ing of a his­toric nu­clear deal in which Iran agreed to curb its en­rich­ment pro­gramme in ex­change for the lift­ing of sanc­tions.

“They sit to­gether, scheme and say that Iran must not hold war games in the Gulf,” Khamenei said.

“What a fool­ish re­mark! They come here from the other side of the globe and stage war games. What are you do­ing here? Go back to the Bay of Pigs. Go and hold ex­er­cises there. What are you do­ing in the Gulf? The Gulf is our home.”

His re­marks were an ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to the 1961 failed in­va­sion of Cuba.

The US 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, is re­spon­si­ble for con­duct­ing mar­itime se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions and sup­port mis­sions as part of Op­er­a­tion En­dur­ing Free­dom, the of­fi­cial name used by the US to de­scribe the global war on ter­ror­ism.

The Ay­a­tol­lah’s out­spo­ken re­marks come just days af­ter the speaker of the UAE’s Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil called on the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment (EP) to back the UAE in a dis­pute over the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa is­lands in the Ara­bian Gulf. The is­lands are con­trolled by Iran. Dr Amal Ab­dul­lah Al Qubaisi asked Martin Schulz, Pres­i­dent of the EP, to adopt a “clear po­si­tion re­gard­ing Iran’s oc­cu­pa­tion”, UAE news agency WAM re­ported this week.

WAM re­ported that the speaker “also stressed the im­por­tance of re­quest­ing Iran to stop in­ter­fer­ing in the Ara­bian Gulf and the Mid­dle East”.

Al Qubaisi made these com­ments dur­ing a visit to Brus­sels, where she met with a num­ber of Euro­pean Union of­fi­cials. Khamenei also urged Iran’s ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials to add other lan­guages to their for­eign lan­guage pro­grammes, say­ing lim­it­ing the cur­ric­ula to English was a mis­take. "The lan­guage of science is not English alone. In­sist­ing on pro­mo­tion of English alone is un­healthy," said Khamenei. "Other lan­guages like Span­ish, French, Ger­man and East­ern lan­guages are the lan­guages of science, too." Khamenei also re­it­er­ated his crit­i­cism about the spend­ing habits of Iran's wealthy up­per class, say­ing the gov­ern­ment needed to reg­u­late con­sump­tion pat­terns. Crit­ics have drawn at­ten­tion to the wave of new lux­ury cars present in Tehran and other ma­jor cities. "I have many times warned but the con­sump­tion pat­terns have not been amended. The nou­veau-riche kids with those cars in the streets are there for this rea­son,” he said. De­spite last sum­mer's land­mark deal be­tween Iran and the world pow­ers, he has re­mained pub­licly sus­pi­cious of Western in­ten­tions to­ward Iran.

SUS­PI­CIOUS: Ay­a­tol­lah Khamenei

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