February 9, 2019
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday that Europe “cannot be trusted”, a week after the EU launched a trade mechanism to bypass US sanctions on Tehran.
“These days there’s talk of the Europeans and their proposals. My advice is that they shouldn’t be trusted, just like the Americans,” he said at a meeting with air force officials, his website reported.
“I’m not saying we shouldn’t have relations with them. This is about trust,” he added.
Britain, France and Germany last week launched a special payment mechanism called INSTEX to help save the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
It would allow Tehran to keep trading with EU companies in spite of US sanctions renewed after Washington quit the accord last year.
Tehran has cautiously welcomed INSTEX as a “first step”, but US officials said the new entity would not have any impact on efforts to exert economic pressure on Iran.
Khamenei also accused Europe of hypocrisy over human rights, criticising France’s treatment of protesters in Paris.
“They (anti-riot police) attack protesters in Paris streets and blind them, then they have the audacity to make human rights requests of us,” he said.
Turning to the United States, Khamenei said Iranians would chant “death to America” as long as Washington kept up its hostile policies, but the slogan was not directed at the American people.
“Death to America means death to (President Donald) Trump, (National Security Advisor) John Bolton and (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo. It means death to America’s rulers … we have nothing against the American people,” he said.