Iran’s supreme leader ridicules US over election ‘spectacle’

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has previously said Iran is not concerned about who wins the election.

al-monitor An Iranian woman walks past a mural painted on the outer walls of the former US Embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Nov. 4, 2020, as the United States waits for the results of its presidential election. Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images.

Nov 5, 2020

As ballot counting continues in the US presidential election, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to Twitter to mock the state of America’s democracy. 

“What a spectacle!” the 81-year-old supreme leader’s unverified account tweeted late Wednesday

“One says this is the most fraudulent election in US history. Who says that? The president who is currently in office. His rival says Trump intends to rig the election! This is how #USElections & US democracy are,” read the tweet. 

Both Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have downplayed the election’s impact on Iran, despite allegations from the US government that hackers for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attempted to interfere in the race. 

The supreme leader said Tuesday that Tehran’s policy toward Washington would remain the same regardless of “who enters or leaves” the Oval Office. 

“The next US administration’s policies are important and not who wins the US election,” Rouhani said Wednesday. “No matter who wins the US election … what we want is for the US to return to law."

Tensions between the two countries have soared under the Trump administration, and the US president's reelection would mean a continuation of his so-called maximum pressure campaign of tough economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.  

If elected, former Vice President Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement should Iran return to strict compliance as a starting point for negotiations. Since Trump withdrew the United States from the deal, Iran has gradually breached its uranium enrichment obligations.  

When pressed by CBS News, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif said his country’s leaders would rather see Biden win, given the candidate’s “promising” statements on Iran. Zarif also told the network that his government would "under no circumstances” negotiate the terms of the Iran deal, no matter who is president.

Israel is also closely watching the outcome of the presidential race. On Wednesday, the country's settlements minister, Tzachi Hanegbi, warned a Biden presidency could mean possible war between Israel and Iran. 

“Biden has said openly for a long time that he will go back to the nuclear agreement,” Hanegbi was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as having told Channel 13 News. “I see that as something that will lead to a confrontation between Israel and Iran.”

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