Senior U.S. Official Refuses to Condemn Ayatollah Khamenei’s ‘Rabid Dog’ Comments

BY:

A senior U.S. official in Geneva, Switzerland refused to condemn comments made by Ayatollah Khamenei in which the Iranian supreme leader referred to Israel as a “rabid dog,” Rosie Gray of BuzzFeed reports.

The official said the rhetoric made him “uncomfortable” and was “unwarranted,” but specifically avoided rebuking Khamenei.

A French spokesperson condemned the remarks earlier today, calling them “unacceptable”:

A senior U.S. administration official said that inflammatory rhetoric by the Ayatollah Khamenei on Wednesday was “uncomfortable” but did not condemn it as unacceptable, as the French have done.

“Of course I don’t ever like it when people use rhetoric that in any way talks about the U.S. in ways that I find very uncomfortable and not warranted whatsoever,” the official told reporters assembled in Geneva to cover Iran nuclear talks this week.

[…]

The official was asked about Khamenei’s address to the Basij paramilitary force on Wednesday in which he referred to Israel as a “rabid dog” and accused the U.S. of launching a nuclear attack on Japan after the country had surrendered in World War II. The official did not specifically address the “rabid dog” comment.

A French government spokesperson on Wednesday condemned the remarks, calling them “unacceptable” and saying that they “complicate” talks.