Iranian leaders and citizens have been chanting “Death to America” for more than 40 years, but apparently that phrase only refers to the politicians in charge, the country’s supreme leader Sayed Ali Khamenei said.
While speaking to Iranian Air force operators on the 40th anniversary of the country’s Islamic Revolution, Khamenei said his country wouldn’t stop chanting the phrase so “long as America continues its wickedness.” Khamenei’s English-language Twitter account also repeated his remarks.
“’Down with USA’ means down with @realDonaldTrump, @AmbJohnBolton and @SecPompeo. It means death to the American politicians currently in power. It means death to the few people running that country; we have nothing against the American nation,” he claimed.
Iranians have been chanting this phrase for some 40 years, under seven American presidents — Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump — but are only now claiming its always referred to the president and his top foreign policy leaders.
Of course, following this remark, Khamenei said, “As long as the U.S. practices savagery and vice, the "Down with USA" won't get off the Iranian nation's tongue.”
He followed that up by saying the “U.S. regime is the embodiment of evil, violence, creating chaos, and warmongering.”
“The U.S. regime has always lived off trespassing for fulfilling its interests. The U.S. is the embodiment of evil, then they complain why we chant 'down with USA'?" he asked.
Remember, Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, according to the U.S. Department of State.
It is interesting that Khamenei would claim the phrase only refers to American leaders when those leaders have changed — and had very different visions for the country — yet the chant remained.