Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei mocked President Joe Biden as a “poor, demented” man and led a crowd in chants of “death to America” during a speech on state television on Saturday.
Biden turned 80 on Sunday, and his age and declining mental sharpness have been a matter of public speculation since his election in 2020.
Khamenei’s comments come as the Biden administration said this week it is still interested in reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, despite a reported stalemate in the negotiations and the Iranian government’s ongoing violent crackdown on nationwide anti-government protests.
In Khamenei’s speech, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Iranian leader claimed that the Islamic Republic’s “advancement” was “intolerable and unbearable for the West.” He criticized U.S. presidents since the 1979 Iranian revolution, singling out Donald Trump as a “dope” and Biden as “demented.”
“America is at the forefront of this campaign by the enemy,” said Khamenei. “All the American presidents, in the decades that have passed since the revolution, have fought the Islamic Republic on that front.”
“Some of them have dropped dead, and some have been cast in the garbage bin of history, even if still alive,” said Khamenei. “This includes the previous dope [Trump] and this poor, demented incumbent guy [Biden].”
At one point in the speech, the crowd launched into a chant of “death to America.”
The Biden administration still has hope that it can reach a nuclear deal with Iran, despite concerns from members of Biden’s own party that the agreement wouldn’t hinder Iran’s nuclear ambitions and would end up sending more funding to the terrorist-financing regime.
U.S. ambassador to Israel Tom Nides this week said a nuclear deal with Iran is “not off the table,” although the Biden administration is “nowhere close” to reaching an agreement with the regime.
“Nothing’s ever off the table,” said Nides. He added that Iran has been an unwilling partner and he was “not holding my breath for any negotiation with the Iranians in this current form.”
The Iranian regime has been rocked by nationwide anti-government protests, which were sparked when Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman, was killed by morality police after refusing to wear a hijab.