Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced today that the Islamic Republic's policy towards America will not be affected by who wins the US presidential elections.
"Our policy towards the United States is clearly set and does not change with the movement of individuals. It does not matter to us who comes and goes," Khamenei said in a speech aired live on state TV.
Amid Election Day which could see either Republican nominee, President Donald Trump, gain four more years in office, or Democrat rival and former Vice President Joe Biden re-enter the White House, Khamenei appeared to mock Trump's claims of voter fraud. "If you look at their own situation, it's lovely to watch. The incumbent president, who is supposed to hold the elections, says this is the most-rigged US election throughout history," Khamenei said.
"Who says this? The sitting president who is arranging the elections himself. His opponent says Trump intends to widely cheat. This is American democracy."
Khamenei added that the outcome of the election "is none of our business, meaning it won't influence our policy at all. Our policy is clear and well-calculated and people coming and going will have no impact on it."
Khamenei was speaking on the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, which this year coincided with the day of the Islamic calendar that Shia Muslims commemorate the birthdate of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
"The students' attack on this den of spies was quite appropriate and wise," Khamenei said, referring to the students who stormed the embassy, taking hostage 52 staff for an eventual 444 days, which ended US-Iranian diplomatic ties which have not been restored since.
Khamenei also took the opportunity to mention the controversy in France surrounding the republication of sacrilegious caricatures of the Prophet and said the French President Emmanuel Macron made a serious mistake in expressing support for the caricatures being republished.
Yesterday Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CBS that he wants the US to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which the Trump administration withdrew from in 2018, but stressed that "re-engagement does not mean renegotiation" because "if we wanted to do that [renegotiate], we would have done it with President Trump four years ago." Zarif added that "the statements by the Biden camp have been more promising, but we will have to wait and see."