Iran’s Supreme Leader has called for a “combined offensive” against the country’s enemies just as nuclear talks are due to resume in Vienna.
Speaking to a group of air force and air defense commanders on Tuesday, February 8, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "The enemy front against Iran has launched a combined offensive, at the economic, political, security, media and diplomatic levels,” and that it was vital that the Islamic Republic bolster its resources in the corresponding areas to counter the stepped-up hostilities. He said it was key to do more than simply take a "defensive stance.”
Khamenei's remarks come at a time when the Iranian government has spent huge sums of money on developing its nuclear and missile programs, and on setting up and financing proxy militias and other groups under the pretext that it had to defend itself from regional and international "enemies." The result has been a crippling economic crisis prompting widespread public protests across the country.
They also coincide with talks between Iran and world leaders resuming in Vienna, focusing on efforts to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The Leader directly criticized the United States’ policies, and said that, together, the current and previous administrations had completely tarnished whatever was left of the US reputation on the global stage.
"Americans' calculations are wrong and they are being hit by something they never imagined — that is by their own presidents," he said.