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Iranian Legislature Votes to Continue 'Death to America!'

'Spontaneous' chants of "Death to America!" during a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian legislators voted Tuesday to continue using the ubiquitous slogan, “Death to America!” despite the recent nuclear negotiations.

As reported by the AFP, 192 Iranian lawmakers out of the 290-seat parliament released a statement reading, “The martyr-nurturing nation of Iran is not at all prepared to abandon the slogan of ‘Death to America’ under the pretext of a nuclear agreement.”

The statement was published by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

The slogan is commonly chanted at Friday prayers in the country’s mosques and at government-organized protests.

“The statement was issued two days before Iran’s commemoration of the start of the November 4, 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran by radical Islamic students that led to a 444-day hostage crisis and a break in diplomatic relations between the two countries lasting up to the present day," AFP noted.

Further, on Sunday, speaking to a group of Iranian diplomats, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed America for the problems of the Middle East, saying, “Contrary to certain people’s belief, the U.S. is the cause of the major portion of regional problems and is not part of the solution to the problems.”

Khamenei denied reports the nuclear deal signaled a change in Iran’s foreign policy and an openness to engage with the West. “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy has acted as impenetrable rock against the domineering nature of hegemonic powers, especially the U.S., in the region,” Khamenei declared, adding that Iran’s foreign policy was “based on Islam and stems from the aspirations and goals of the [Islamic] revolution.”

In contrast, America’s foreign policies “differ 180 degrees with the policies of the Islamic republic," he said.

Khamenei's rhetoric, as well as the recent vote by the parliament endorsing “Death to America,” comes at a crucial juncture in the implementation of the nuclear deal.

Although Western media has reported Khamenei approved the agreement and American Democratic politicians celebrated its official adoption, the Supreme Leader made clear his disapproval of the deal in a letter he wrote to Iranian President Hasan Rouhani outlining the conditions he would place on the deal.

Read more: http://www.clarionproject.org/news/iranian-legislature-votes-continue-death-anerica

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