Kerry: ‘I Don’t Know How to Interpret’ Ayatollah’s Anti-American Remarks After Nuclear Deal But They’re ‘Disturbing’

Kerry: I can only take it at face value but maybe he means something else

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Secretary of State John Kerry said anti-American remarks by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei after the nuclear deal struck last week were "disturbing" in an interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya News.

At the same time, Kerry said he wasn't quite sure how to "interpret it" at this point.

"I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy," Kerry said. "But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling, and we’ll have to wait and see … We are not kidding when we talk about the importance of pushing back against extremism, against support for terrorism and proxies who are destabilizing other countries. It’s unacceptable."

Khamenei, in addition to his usual vicious rhetoric against Israel, said "our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change."

Before the deal was made, the White House played off "Death to America" remarks by Khamenei as intended merely for a "domestic political audience, " and the State Department previously dismissed chants from Iranian Parliament members of "Death to America" as "not helpful."

Iran and the P 5+1 powers reached an agreement widely considered to be a huge win for the rogue regime and foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world, given it can still get a nuclear weapon down the road and receives massive sanctions relief.

Full transcript:

NADIA BILBASSY-CHARTERS: The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said – made a statement. They were very negative. And he basically is saying that he want to stay at war with the United States, et cetera, and he will still support the proxies. How do you read his statements?

JOHN KERRY: I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy. But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling, and we’ll have to wait and see. But that’s one of the reasons for my meeting with all of the Gulf States; it’s one of the reasons for our being very attentive to guaranteeing the security of the region. And we are not kidding when we talk about the importance of pushing back against extremism, against support for terrorism and proxies who are destabilizing other countries. It’s unacceptable.

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