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Iran's Supreme Leader Criticizes U.S., Presidential Race

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the debate between U.S. presidential candidates shows what a "catastrophe" American politics is and warned against further negotiations with Washington.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking to students

Without mentioning Republican Party candidate Donald Trump or his Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton, Khamenei said in a speech on November 2 marking the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran that their comments during the presidential debates was "sufficient for the annihilation of the reputation of the United States."

Khamenei said Iran's continued exclusion from the world banking system after the lifting of international sanctions under a nuclear deal with world powers showed the United States cannot be trusted.

Although international sanctions were lifted in January, Washington has maintained its own sanctions related to human rights and Iran's missile program.

Several U.S. politicians have said Tehran's development of the missile program violates international agreements.

Khamanei: "U.S. stabs in the back."

"Some say we should negotiate and compromise with the United States with regard to Syria, Hizballah in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and even our internal affairs," Khamenei added.

But he answered by saying: "Negotiating with the United States will not solve the problems. First, because they lie, they don't respect their commitments, trick others. And secondly, because the United States is itself in crisis."

Iranian state television aired two of the three U.S. presidential debates live.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

Copyright (c) 2016 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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