Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei broke his silence today and President Donald Trump, thanking the “newcomer” U.S. president for unmasking America’s “real face” and “Iran’s statements over the past 38 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption of the establishment ruling the U.S.”

In a speech to Iranian Air Force commanders, Khamenei also replied to Trump’s last week tweet that said Iran was “playing with fire” and that Tehran should appreciate how kind former President Barack Obama was by signing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. “We are by no means thankful for that [Obama’s] administration because it imposed heavy sanctions with the intent to cripple the Iranian nation and the Islamic Establishment, an objective it did not achieve, and no other enemy will be able to cripple this great nation either.” He also called on Iranians to march against the Unites States in the upcoming rallies across Iran commemorating the anniversary of the regime's 1979 revolution.

Comment: The remarks by Khamenei, who has the final say in all Iranian state matters, are the latest indication that the Iranian regime has no intention to positively respond to international demands to stop its controversial ballistic missile activity and support for terrorism in the region. Instead, Tehran is only doubling down on its defiance of the United States and the international community. Right after the Trump administration put Iran “on notice” over its January 28 ballistic missile test, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.), in a blatant act of provocation, test-fired missile and radar systems on February 4 to “showcase the power of Iran’s revolution and to dismiss the [U.S.] sanctions.” Read moreover, senior Iranian military and civilian leaders warned that the Islamic Republic would attack Israel and U.S. bases in the region if Washington “commits a mistake.”