TEHRAN – The supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, said on Saturday his country has beaten the United States throughout 40 years of confrontation, while speaking at a meeting with students a day before the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran.
Khamenei said US power continues to decline and that it had failed in its objectives despite years of military and economic pressure against Iran.
“The truth is that, throughout the 40-year challenge, the defeated party has been the US, and the victorious party has been the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US is defeated because it has started the attacks without ever achieving the goals it pursued,” Khamenei told the gathered students, as quoted on his official website.
On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian students who supported their country’s revolution took control of the US Embassy in Tehran and held 52 American citizens hostage for more than a year.
“The US is today much weaker than it was 40 years ago,” Khamenei said, adding that “The world opposes every decision the US president makes, not only the people but also the governments oppose him.”
On Nov. 5, the administration of US President Donald Trump is set to impose further harsh sanctions on Iranian oil exports, while granting waivers to allow eight countries to temporarily import Iranian oil without facing US punishment.
Khamenei called the US sanctions futile and said they have made Iran more economically and politically self-sufficient.
European governments and others have sought to preserve ties with Iran, partly to ensure it stays in the 2015 nuclear accord, from which Trump withdrew in May.
Many of Europe’s largest companies have already pulled out of Iran, but despite the corporate exodus, the European Union wants to shield trade and finance with Iran from US sanctions.