Iran’s Supreme Leader has tried to exploit Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, proclaiming that it stemmed from the “incompetence and despair” of the Islamic Republic’s “enemies”.

Just before Trump made his announcement in Washington, Ayatollah Khamenei told officials and ambassadors of Muslim countries at a Tehran conference that the Islamic world should unite behind the Palestinians: “Palestine today tops the political issues facing the Islamic Ummah and everyone is duty-bound to make endeavors towards its freedom and salvage.”

He asserted the Muslim world would undoubtedly stand against this conspiracy and the Zionists will be dealt a heavy blow with this move and dear Palestine will at last be liberated without doubt,” Khamenei assured.

But even as he tried to rally Arab and Muslim countries alongside Tehran, the Supreme Leader also sought an opportunity for advantage over rivals such as Saudi Arabia: “Sadly there are rulers in this region who dance to America’s tune; whatever America wants that is against Islam, they’ll do it. We have no discord with Muslim countries, we want unity…but some only want war.”

He drove home his point:

The language we use with the followers of America in the region, is the language of advice….We advise them that serving the wrongdoers of the world is to their disadvantage and as the Qur’an has commanded, partnering with wrongdoers has no future other than annihilation.