Teheran, 5 Oct: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today criticised some aspects of President Hassan Rouhani’s landmark UN visit in which he spoke to his US counterpart but voiced broad support.
The comments were the first public response by Khamenei, who wields ultimate authority in Iran, to Mr Rouhani’s overtures to the West in New York last week, which were capped by a historic 15-minute telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama.
“We support the diplomatic initiative of the government and attach importance to its activities in this trip,” Khamenei told military commanders and graduating cadets in remarks reported by his website, Khamenei.ir.
However he added ~ without elaborating ~ that “some of what happened in the New York trip was not appropriate”.
The telephone conversation on 27 September ~ the first diplomatic contact between Iranian and US presidents ~ broke 34 years of icy relations between Teheran and Washington since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
For Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state including foreign policy, the suspicion runs deep. “We are pessimistic towards the Americans and do not put any trust in them. The American government is untrustworthy, supercilious and unreasonable, and breaks its promises,” he said.