TEHRAN — Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivered a lengthy, sweeping speech at the country’s holiest site Thursday in which he suggested that he is open to nuclear talks, if not optimistic about their outcome.
A day after Iran celebrated its new year, Khamenei, speaking at the shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city and his home town, covered a range of issues he deemed essential for Iran to address in the coming year, including the effect of sanctions, the country’s over-reliance on oil revenue, the possibility of negotiations with the United States and the upcoming Iranian presidential election.
In his remarks, which were broadcast live on state television, Khamenei also issued a warning to Israel’s leaders. “At times, the officials of the Zionist regime threaten to launch a military invasion,” he said. “But they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake, the Islamic republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”