Ayatollah Khamenei: Presidential Campaign Has Been 'Enough to Destroy U.S. Image'

Iran's supreme leader ripped the U.S. presidential election this week, telling students in Tehran that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump "are inadvertently exposing the realities and the catastrophes within the U.S."

"In the years past, we would talk about fewer debacles within the U.S., and a group of individuals would not or did not want to accept the truth; nowadays, remarks made by the candidates during these debates display the reality of dwindling human values within the United States," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, according to remarks posted on his English-language website.

Focusing on the issues of racial discrimination, poverty and income inequality, he added, "The deprivation of human values and human rights, and the prevalence of discrimination and racism are today’s realties of the American society.”

“...The remarks made by these two U.S. presidential candidates over the last few weeks on immoral issues — which are, for most part, not baseless accusations — are enough to disgrace America.”

During the lecture to mark the Fight against Global Arrogance and Students’ Day, also known as the anniversary of the 1979 attack on the U.S. Embassy, Khamenei complained that the reams of documents shredded at the embassy and pieced back together by youths working for the regime weren't used today as university textbooks.

He called the belief that negotiation with the United States was essential for progress wrongheaded, and slammed those in media and schools who promote cooperation.

“A few days ago a U.S. negotiator, within the nuclear committee, openly said they have sanctioned Iran after JCPOA, too. And this is the reality of the regime we are encountering," he said of the nuclear deal. “This is a very dangerous way of thinking -- it is said that if we compromise with the U.S. all our country’s problems will be solved! One clear example rebutting such an argument is the issue of JCPOA and the USA’s attitude afterwards.”

“Today it is not only me saying they are unreliable -- the respected authorities and even the negotiators who underwent great measures and efforts talk about USA’s unreliability.”

Khamenei stressed that at the recent UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif "proposed an extended indictment of U.S.’s breaching of its commitments set by the JCPOA," and other foreign ministers Zarif met with "had nothing to add."

“Negotiating with the Americans won’t solve our problems: firstly, they are dishonest, unreliable, deceptive, back stabbers; secondly, the United States, itself, is facing a crisis, how can a crisis-stricken country resolve another country’s problems?” he added.

The ayatollah said that “negotiating with the U.S. will not only fail in resolving our problems, but will also intensify them."

"We should resolve our problems on our own, and by having faith in our youth’s capabilities and their promising potentials," he said.

During Friday prayers at Tehran University, Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani said "negotiations with the U.S. was only restricted to the nuclear deal," according to the semi-official Fars News Agency, and did not include other areas of continued discussions.