Ayatollah Won’t Bend on U.S.

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Despite the nuclear pact, Iran and America won’t grow closer, he says.

Iran will uphold its anti-American policies and continue to support regional allies inimical to Western interests, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday, days after Tehran and six world powers struck a landmark nuclear deal that renewed hopes of improved ties between longtime adversaries.

“Our policy regarding the arrogant U.S. government will not change,” Mr. Khamenei said in a televised address to mark Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim feast day at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. “We don’t have any negotiations or deal with the U.S. on different issues in the world or the region.”

Mr. Khamenei said the country wouldn’t surrender to excessive demands, and vowed not to change Iran’s policy of supporting regional allies that the U.S. and Israel oppose.

Iran provides vital support for the Syrian regime, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Shiite militias in Iraq, among other groups.

“Whether [the deal is] ratified or not, we will not give up on our friends in the region,” Mr. Khamenei said.

The comments were the most detailed from Mr. Khamenei since the nuclear deal was struck Tuesday. The hard-line cleric’s views are being closely watched because he has the final say in most matters of state and could still back out of the agreement.

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