Iran Feature: Supreme Leader — “US is a Horrible, Racist Country”

Taking a break from the resumption of nuclear talks, the Supreme Leader has told his followers that the US is a horrible, racist country.

Addressing Iranian police commanders and officials on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “In the US, whose President is now a black person, the black people are oppressed, disrespected and humiliated and such behavior has provided the ground for unrest too.”

Describing the behavior of US police towards African Americans as “cruel might”, he offered the enlightened alternative of the Islamic Republic:

Iran does not at all intend to boost its police forces’ power and might like what is seen in Hollywood movies and the US and other western communities.

The Law Enforcement Police is a symbol of the Islamic Republic’s sovereignty and security and therefore, it should be mighty but this mightiness doesn’t mean oppression and uncontrolled action.

The Supreme Leader has often used race relations to denounce the US as an oppressive country, while proclaiming Iran’s respect for and defense of minorities. His office has used incidents such as the shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri last summer to announce US racism and discrimination, similar to that of the “Zionist regime” of Israel in Palestine. The campaign has used prominent hashtags such as #Ferguson and #BlackLiveMatters.

Iranian media’s latest case is the police killing of an African American teenager, Justus Howell, outside Chicago earlier this month.

In its Twitter burst on Sunday, Khamenei’s office also used other cases of African Americans shot by police or white civilians, such as #EricGarner, #TrayvonMartin, and #WalterScott.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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