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Iran supreme leader calls US officials 'first-class idiots'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 10-01-2019
TEHRAN, IRAN - NOVEMBER 28: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY  MANDATORY CREDIT - 'IRAN'S RELIGIOUS LEADER PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Iran's religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes a speech during his meeting with Commanders of the Iran naval forces in Tehran, Iran on November 28, 2018. (Photo by Iran's Religious Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) © Iran's Religious Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images TEHRAN, IRAN - NOVEMBER 28: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'IRAN'S RELIGIOUS LEADER PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Iran's religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes a speech during his meeting with Commanders of the Iran naval forces in Tehran, Iran on November 28, 2018. (Photo by Iran's Religious Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Iran's supreme leader has called U.S. officials "first-class idiots," mocking American leaders as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tours the Mideast.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments on Wednesday were unusually harsh, reflecting broader tensions between Iran and the United States after President Donald Trump withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Khamenei also recounted a story about a U.S. official who once predicted he would celebrate Christmas in Iran.

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Khamenei said: "Some U.S. officials pretend that they are mad. Of course I don't agree with that, but they are first-class idiots."

The supreme leader did not name the official. However, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton told a meeting of the Iranian exile group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq last March that "before 2019, we here ... will celebrate in Iran."

Also watch: US Navy veteran has been imprisoned in Iran for months

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(Video by NBC News)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi hold a press conference in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. Pompeo has begun a Mideast visit to talk to regional leaders about ramping up pressure on Iran. The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting Trump administration statements about a planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. Pompeo's first stop Tuesday is pro-Western Jordan, followed by visits to Egypt and Gulf nations. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh) © The Associated Press U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi hold a press conference in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. Pompeo has begun a Mideast visit to talk to regional leaders about ramping up pressure on Iran. The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting Trump administration statements about a planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. Pompeo's first stop Tuesday is pro-Western Jordan, followed by visits to Egypt and Gulf nations. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Iraq's President Barham Saleh in Baghdad, Iraq, during a Middle East tour, January 9, 2019. © Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Iraq's President Barham Saleh in Baghdad, Iraq, during a Middle East tour, January 9, 2019.

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