TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's Supreme Leader said Sunday that Washington has continued its animosity toward Tehran, despite a friendly message by President Barack Obama marking Persian New Year.
State TV broadcast Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's New Year's speech on Sunday live from the northern city of Mashhad. He said of the U.S., "From one hand they send a New Year message and on the other hand they have kept economic sanctions," against Iran. "This is enmity."
Khamenei has final say on all state matters in Iran. He said many international companies continue to avoid working with Iran out fear of the U.S.
Obama on Saturday, in his annual video message marking the Persian New Year, said a landmark nuclear deal Iran reached with world powers last year makes it possible for Iran to rejoin the global economy, increase trade and investment, and create jobs and opportunities for Iranians to sell their goods around the world.
"The United States is severely working not to allow the deal's results to become beneficial for the Islamic Republic," said Khamenei. He said despite the deal "They have threatened us through other sanctions."
He said the U.S. has not fulfilled all of its commitments under the deal. "Banking transactions are still facing problems. The return of Iran's capital from abroad has faced problems. When we investigated, it was found out that they fear from the U.S."
He also said there is no guarantee that the next U.S. administration will honor all the commitments made by Obama's administration.
Khamenei dismissed the recent controversy over Iran's continued testing of ballistic missiles. Earlier this month, the country's Revolutionary Guard test-fired two missiles emblazoned with the phrase "Israel must be wiped out" in Hebrew.
After the launches, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Iran to "act with moderation," and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called them, "provocative and destabilizing." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said the recent tests could trigger additional sanctions.
"What an outcry they raised over our missile issue saying, why did you test fire? Why did you launch the military exercise," Khamenei said.