Iran’s Supreme Leader said in speech to the country’s military commanders on Sunday that Iran has never been a threat to its neighbours in the region and it will stand firmly against any aggression directed toward it.

Ayatollah Khamenei

Ayatollah Khamenei

He praised the progress of the country’s defence capabilities despite international pressure and sanctions and he stressed that this progress must continue.

“After a period of silence, one of their officials has once more spoken of options on the table. On the one hand, they make such boasts and on the other hand they say the Islamic Republic must stop its defence developments, which is foolish talk,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Recently, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff, said once again that the military option against Iran is still on the table.

Ayatollah Khamenei told military commanders that Iran must continue to improve its defence capabilities and urged them to treat his statement as an “official directive”.

In another part of his statement, he referred to the situation in Yemen and stressed that Iran, despite its military power, has never been a threat to the countries in the region.

He added that the narrative of Iran trying to attain nuclear arms is a myth concocted by the U.S., Europe and their followers, adding that the U.S. and Israel are the real threat to regional and world security.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the events in Yemen and the American support for the Saudi air attacks on Yemen is “an example of their destabilizing actions in the world”.

Iran has proposed a peace process for Yemen, which Yemen’s government has rejected, accusing Iran of supporting the Houthi forces who have been taking control of large portions of the country.