Iran Leader Says U.S. is Kneeling on the Neck of Weaker Nations

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has again evoked American racism to attack U.S. foreign policy, likening the international actions of Washington to domestic police brutality.

Khamenei issued an official message Wednesday to mark the Hajj season, expressing his support for protesters in the U.S. who are demanding reforms to address police brutality and systemic racism within the American system.

"In the recent events in the U.S. and the anti-racism movement, our decisive stance is to support the people and condemn the cruel behavior of the racist government of that country," Khamenei said according to the Tehran Times.

"The U.S.'s treatment of the weak nations is a magnified version of the behavior of that police officer who kneeled on the neck of a defenseless black man and pressed him to death," Khamenei continued, referring to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officers in May.

Newsweek subscription offers >

Iranian officials have regularly voiced their support for the protest movement in the U.S., while simultaneously suppressing anti-government dissent at home. Earlier this month, authorities throttled internet access to try and stop viral demands for an end to executions in the country after several anti-government protesters were sentenced to death.

The protesters were sentenced for their role in anti-regime demonstrations that broke out last year after the government introduced a controversial new fuel tax. The regime crushed the protests, killing more than 1,000 people in the process, according to the State Department.

Newsweek subscription offers >

The protests in the U.S. have given the Iranian regime an opportunity to malign President Donald Trump, who has embarked upon a "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran having withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 2018.

The U.S. has re-applied a range of sanctions further hamstringing Iran's struggling economy, with the White House also trying to cut Iran's vital oil exports to zero. Trump has urged Tehran to make a replacement deal with tighter restrictions on its ballistic missile program and regional influence, but Iranian leaders have refused fresh negotiations.

Tehran has repeatedly requested sanctions relief to assist its efforts to contain its COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, but the Trump administration has noted its sanctions allow the import of medical supplies.

Khamenei said Wednesday that Muslim nations should unite to push back against the "arrogant powers that are epicenter of corruption, cruelty, killing the weak, and plundering," referring to the U.S. and Israel.

Iran, US, George Floyd, racism, protests
Iraqi Shiite youths carry a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during a military parade in Baghdad, on May 31, 2019. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
Iran Leader Says U.S. is Kneeling on the Neck of Weaker Nations | World