Clinton, Trump No Different to Iran: Leader’s Adviser

A senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran sees no difference between the US presidential candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties.

Ali Akbar Valayati,
Ali Akbar Valayati, an adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

Ali Akbar Valayati, who advises the Leader on international affairs, made the remarks in an interview with al-Mayadeen, an Arabic-language TV based in Lebanon, which broadcast the interview on Saturday, August 6.

The presidential race in the US is being contested by Hillary Clinton on the Democratic front and bombastic real estate mogul Donald Trump, who represents the Republican Party.

The former has, in the past, sounded combative on issues concerning the Islamic Republic, including a 2008 instance during which she said the United States could “totally obliterate” Iran in retaliation for what she called a nuclear strike against Israel. Iran has no nuclear weapons and is not pursuing one.

Clinton also accuses Iran of backing “terrorism” in the region by questioning Tehran’s support for the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah, which has been defending Lebanon against Israel.

In his interview, Velayati said, “The US Democrats proved, by refusing to fulfil their obligations [under the Iran nuclear deal], that they are not committed to the nuclear agreement. Therefore, they are no different from the Republicans,” Velayati said.

The nuclear deal was struck between Iran and the P5+1 group (namely Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States) in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran has agreed to scale back its nuclear program and provide enhanced access to international atomic monitors in return for the lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions against the country.

However, some obstacles continue to remain in the way of the full implementation of the deal on the part of the US and Europe. European banks are also wavering between resuming or not resuming transactions with Iran, fearing punitive US measures, even as the US has attempted to assuage such fears.

GOP aspirant Trump has, meanwhile, threatened to tear up the nuclear agreement.

“Americans should know that if they refused to implement the nuclear agreement, Iran could go for other options,” Valayati said.

 

‘Saudi Policies Suicidal’

The senior Iranian official also addressed Saudi Arabia’s destructive policies, including the move by Riyadh to try and develop public relations with Israel, the Saudi regime’s policies of spreading extremism, and its unrelenting and deadly war on Yemen.

“The Saudi government’s policy is a kind of political suicide,” Velayati said.

 

‘Assad Prospects Improved’

Valayati concluded his remarks by saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad now enjoyed an even higher chance than before of securing another victory in a potential new election.

“Most countries in the world are now convinced that Assad should remain in power,” he said, apparently referring to how Western countries have become more muted in their calls for Assad’s ouster.

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