Iran supreme leader promises to ‘slap’ US, defeat sanctions

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader says the Islamic Republic will “slap” the United States by defeating new American sanctions targeting the nation.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments Thursday in a speech in Tehran before thousands of members of the Basij, an all-volunteer force under Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Khamenei says he heard President Donald Trump tell European leaders that the Islamic Republic would collapse in the coming months over American sanctions, something he dismissed. The sanctions have hurt Iran’s already ailing economy and have fueled the depreciation of its rial currency.

Khamenei also warned that media controlled by foreign enemies could be as dangerous as “chemical weapons.”

Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force, attended the speech with the head of the Guard, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari.

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