Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei marked his speech on Eid al-Fitr by heaping scorn on the US. The leader of the theocratic nation said Washington is the "vicious" source behind the instability in the Middle East region.
Speaking to a gathering of top-ranking Iranian officials in the capital Tehran, Khamenei said statehood for Palestine is at the core of the unrest in the region and added that Washington has tried to sideline the matter.
"They want to deny the existence of geography and a nation, while Palestine has a history of thousands of years and the Palestinian nation also owns a land and these realities cannot be forgotten," said Khamenei, who has the highest political authority in the country, according to the state-backed Fars news agency.
He continued: "A vicious source of all problems and plights of the world of Islam is petty hands of the behind-the-scene powers who tacitly support terrorism which is however belied by their contrived coalition against their foster child; the bloody explosions, slaughter, and devastation across Islamic lands should provide clues to find these treacherous hands." Khamenei added that Israel would also receive a "slap" for its "atrocities" against Palestinians.
Tensions between the Western world and Iran have cooled down in recent months especially after the landmark nuclear deal. Yet, anti-Israel and anti-US sentiments frequently flare up in the remarks of Khamenei and other top leaders in the Shia-oriented country.
Khamenei strongly condemned the crackdown on a top Shia cleric in Bahrain, a Sunni kingdom, but emphasised that Tehran would not interfere in the internal affairs of the country.
The Iranian leader said: "Iran has not and will not run any interference in Bahrain's affairs. But, if there is political awareness and wisdom in that country (Bahrain), they should not allow a political conflict to turn into a civil war, and should not pit the people against each other."