Iranians have taken to the streets across the country to vent their anger at the US over its withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal and President Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric against Tehran.
Protesters in Tehran and other cities on Friday carried placards which read, “Mr Trump, you are talking nonsense,” echoing Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s remarks on Wednesday.
A group of students gathered outside the former US embassy in Tehran, where they burned American flags and chanted slogans against the US and the occupying regime of Israel after emerging from Friday prayers in Tehran.
“Death to America”, “Death to Israel” and “We fight, we die, but we do not accept any compromise,” the protesters chanted.
They issued a statement in which they reiterated their loyalty to the Islamic Republic and its anti-imperialist ideals and denounced Trump’s decision to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The imbecile Trump’s pretexts and insane move following a psychological war and breach of promise and unilateral pullout from the JCPOA and his idiotic remarks against the powerful Iran revealed again the imperialistic nature of the criminal American leaders,” they said.
“With God’s help, we will stand up and resist until the full destruction of the enemies of Islam and the oppressed nations of the world, especially the world-gobbling America,” they said.
The show of unity came following Trump’s pullout from the JCPOA, and his announcement that the US would reimpose nuclear sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Tehran Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said, “In his speech, Trump told at least 10 lies against our nation and made insults and accusations.”
“The answer to all that nonsense is what this great nation has always been saying: ‘America is dead wrong’ and ‘Mr Trump, you are talking nonsense’,” he added.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran was ready to restart its nuclear program on an “industrial scale” in the wake of Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal with Tehran.
In a statement, Zarif said he would embark on a round of international diplomacy to try and save the deal. At the same time, the country would make preparations to restart its program of nuclear enrichment, he said.
Zarif accused Trump of “ignorance and folly” and said American foreign policy had “dragged the Middle East into chaos.”
He said Iran would attempt to save the nuclear deal through negotiations with the European nations who were co-signatories to the deal. Zarif will meet with his counterparts from Germany, France and the UK in Brussels on Tuesday.
Zarif accused the US and its allies of fomenting unrest in the Middle East, “turning our region into a powder keg through their sale of hundreds of billions of dollars of useless advanced weaponry.”
Ayatollah Khatami vowed Iran would turn “Tel Aviv and Haifa to dust” if attacked by Israel.
“We are not interested in the atomic bomb, but we are increasing our missile capabilities in other fields so that Israel cannot sleep well,” he was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.