Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday blamed the United States for instability in the Middle East and said Washington’s fight against the Islamic State militant group was “a lie”. “You (the United States) and your agents are the source of instability in the Middle East…who created Islamic State? America … America’s claim of fighting against Islamic State is a lie,” Khamenei said in a meeting with high-ranking Iranian officials, according to his official website.

Iran and the United States cut diplomatic ties shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution and enmity to Washington has long been a rallying point for hardline supporters of Khamenei in Iran. Khamenei has made several statements denouncing the United States since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, while U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken out against Iran in harsh terms since taking office, indicating that he will reverse the previous administration’s attempts at rapprochement with Tehran. READ MORE