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Iran's top leader strikes defiant tone amid month of turmoil

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader,...
In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers his sermon in the Friday prayers at Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. Iran's supreme leader said President Donald Trump is a "clown" who only pretends to support the Iranian people but will "push a poisonous dagger" into their backs, as he struck a defiant tone in his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years. | Source: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP(KALB)
Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 5:25 PM CST
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Iran's supreme leader has lashed out at Western countries while leading Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time in eight years.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed what he called “American clowns” who he said pretend to support the Iranian nation but would stick their “poisoned dagger” into its back.

He insisted Iran will not bow to U.S. pressure after months of crushing sanctions and a series of recent crises, from the American killing of a top Iranian general to Iran's accidental shootdown of a passenger plane.

Khamenei said the mass funerals for the general who was killed in a U.S. airstrike show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its trials.

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