Iran’s supreme leader says U.S. is ‘number one enemy’

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech last week that the United States was his country’s “number one enemy.”

“The American president’s foolish remarks against our people show the depth of America’s hostility towards the entire Iranian nation,” he told a group of students, in reference to Trump’s refusal to certify last month that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal.

“America is the number one enemy of our nation,” he noted further.

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions against Iran over its development of longer-range ballistic missiles.

Analyst comment: While the supreme leader’s comments were nothing new and largely for his domestic audience, the statement comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East as Iran seeks to spread its influence throughout the region as the Syrian civil war winds down. That push is putting Tehran closer to conflict with Israel, whose main ally is, of course, the U.S. 

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 4: What are the latest indicators of a new war in the Middle East?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

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