Iran’s Ayatollah Sees a Succession of Increasingly Weaker US Presidents; Israel's Demise

( – Iran’s supreme leader launched a vitriolic attack Tuesday on the United States and Israel, charging that a fast-declining U.S. has had a succession of presidents, each weaker than the one before, and that Israel’s internal divisions are hastening its anticipated demise.

Heralding a major upheaval of the global order, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a gathering of officials, lawmakers and others that it was happening quickly, and that it was weakening Iran’s foremost enemies.

“The U.S. is one of Iran’s most important foes in the world,” he said. “The U.S. was weaker under Obama’s administration than it was under Bush’s administration. The U.S. was weaker under Trump’s administration than it was under Obama’s administration. The U.S. is weaker under this man’s [President Biden’s] administration than it was under Trump’s.”

Khamenei attributed the purported “weakness” to a polarization of society arising in the last presidential election and seen again in the recent midterms.

That “bipolarity” continues to exist, he said, and is a very significant weakness.


The ayatollah offered several examples of what he portrayed as signs of U.S. weakness on the global stage.

“The U.S. had announced that it planned to create a united Arab front against Iran, but what has happened today is the opposite of what it had intended,” he said. “The Arab world’s relations with Iran are increasing.”

He was probably alluding to a recent China-brokered thaw between Shi’ite Iran and its Sunni rival, Saudi Arabia, including an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals. Their foreign ministers are due to meet in the coming days, and Saudi King Salman has invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to visit the kingdom.

Khamenei said U.S. attempts to shut down Iran’s nuclear program through political pressure and sanctions had failed, as had its attempts to oust the Maduro regime in Venezuela by creating and supporting “a fake president” – a reference to Juan Guaidó.

And he claimed that the war in Ukraine – which he accused the U.S. of starting – was creating divisions between America and its European allies, who were bearing the brunt of the conflict “while the U.S. reaps the benefits.”

(Iran has not condemned Russia’s invasion of its neighbor and according to the U.S. has provided large numbers of combat drones which the Russians are using to deadly effect against Ukrainian targets.)

Khamenei concluded his list of examples of supposed U.S. weakness by pointing to efforts being led by Russia and China to move away from the U.S. dollar in international transactions.

“Therefore, the U.S., which is the leading enemy of the Islamic system, is weakening.”

Turning to Israel, Khamenei – whose regime has been roiled by widespread public protests for the past 200 days – noted with satisfaction the domestic upheavals in response to the Netanyahu government’s deeply controversial judicial overhaul proposals.

Senior Israeli defense figures have warned that the political turmoil is leaving the country paralyzed and exposed while emboldening its regional foes. Israel’s ceremonial president, Isaac Herzog, at one point warned that the country was at risk of “constitutional and social collapse.” In the face of massive public protests, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu late last month put the proposed changes on hold.

“The Zionist regime has political instability and has changed four prime ministers in four years,” Khamenei said. “Party coalitions collapse before forming; there is an extreme bipolarity throughout the fake regime, which is highlighted by the demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people in some cities.”

“Their own officials continuously warn that their collapse is nearing,” he said. “Their president says this, their former prime minister says this, their security chief says this, and their defense minister says this. They all say it. They say their collapse is nearing and they won’t make it to their 80th birthday.”

Khamenei recalled that in a 2015 speech he predicted that Israel would no longer exist in 25 years’ time.

“We said a few years ago they wouldn’t see the next 20 or 25 years from then. They themselves are in a rush and want to leave sooner,” he said with a chuckle, drawing laughter from his audience.

The State of Israel marks its 75th birthday this spring, and will turn 80 in 2028.


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