Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the US is the most evil enemy of Iranian people.
In a live televised address to Iranians on the occasions of Norouz – the beginning of the new Iranian year (March 20) – and Eid al-Mab’ath (March 22), the anniversary of the day Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelation and was chosen as Allah’s final messenger, Ayatollah Khamenei added at present, Iran has numerous enemies, but the US is the most evil enemy of the people of the country, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“US officials are mendacious, deceitful, shameless, greedy, charlatan, cruel, stony-hearted, merciless and terrorist. We are faced with such an enemy.”
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions have hindered, among many other things, the delivery of international humanitarian aid, drugs and medical equipment to Iran, particularly, now that the country is fighting against the coronavirus.
US officials have refused to lift draconian sanctions which are hampering Iran's efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. They have instead claimed readiness to aid Iranians, with President Donald Trump saying "all they have to do is ask".
Iranian authorities have dismissed the offer as hypocritical, saying it makes no sense when Washington keeps on imposing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Ayatollah Khamenei called US officials deceitful, saying they were lying as he touched on speculations that the United States has manufactured the extremely contagious disease.
The coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year and is currently affecting a large number of countries and territories across the globe.
On Sunday, the speaker of Iran’s Health Ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said the total number of infections has reached 21,638 in the country, according to ISNA.
With 129 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 1,685, he added, regretting that 1,028 new cases have been identified in the past 24 hours. Jahanpour put the number of the recovered patients at 7,913.
The Leader praised the Iranian people for remaining steadfast in the past decades despite Washington’s ongoing hostility, giving the assurance that they can overcome enemies through patience, bravery and wisdom.
The disease is also set to take a toll on the economy, the Leader said, calling for the same patience which Iranians have shown against their enemies since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
“Being patient means not to surrender. It means to confront the enemy with bravery and wisdom,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Ayatollah Khamenei further urged officials to use the capacities of the country’s younger generation to be able to solve the current woes facing the nation.
The Leader said, “Today, the country’s youth population is one of our power tools”.
It is crucial for Iran to grow powerful in all areas, particularly in the field of cyberspace, he added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to a recent offer by the US to help Iran rein in the outbreak of the coronavirus, saying, “Americans have said several times that 'we are ready to help with treatment and medicine; just ask us and we will help'. This is one of the weirdest things which they tell us to ask them."
"Firstly, you have a shortage yourself and this is what American officials say. Secondly, you are accused of producing the virus. I do not know how true this accusation is, but when such an accusation is made, which wise person will ask for your help?" he added.
The coronavirus has infected 26,900 in the US, killing 348, according to worldometers.info. Upon announcing the first cases in the country, people swarmed stores and emptied shelves.
According to the Leader, "Part of this virus is said to have been made for Iran by using genetic backgrounds which they have collected from Iranians, which of course is part of their hostility."
Ayatollah Khamenei called on Iranians to follow the instructions of the national headquarters tasked with fighting the coronavirus as he expressed confidence in the country's ability to contain the disease.
"Our 40-year experience shows that the country has the capacity to deal with problems and challenges at any level," he said.
He said one should not be surprised by the hostility to Iran, adding enemies work together against the Islamic Revolution.
"I can say with certainty that the Iranian nation is a patient nation. We officials, of course, have been impatient at times, but the Iranian people have been patient for 40 years."
"I have said many times that the country must be strong. Getting stronger has been derived from both the Qur'an and the Bi'tha. Strength includes the economic, political, cultural, military and propagation fields," he said.
Bi'tha refers to sending Prophet Muhammad (PBEUH) by God to the world to guide people to the right path.
Ayatollah Khamenei said 300 years after Bi'tha, the strongest government in science, culture, politics and military was the government of Islam.
"If we act honestly today and are not short-sighted and lazy, we can take Iran to the political, military, cultural, scientific and economic peak. However, our far-flung goal is to establish Islamic civilization," he said.