In his first speech since Trump's inauguration, Ayatollah Khamenei called on Iranians to respond to Trump's "threats" – which he said had failed to frighten Iranians – on Friday's anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
"We are thankful to Mr. Newcomer (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America," the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that during his election campaign and after, Trump “confirmed what the Islamic Republic of Iran has been saying for 38 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the US ruling system".
“Now, too, with what he’s been doing, handcuffing a five-year-old [and other things], he is showing what American human rights really mean,” the Leader said.
After taking office, the new US president ordered sweeping travel bans against many Muslim countries, including Iran. The order was followed by widespread domestic and international backlash amid scenes of American security forces overpowering minors to enforce the bans.
Trump also responded to an Iranian missile test carried out in January by saying "Iran is playing with fire" and imposing fresh sanctions on individuals and entities.
The White House said the test was not a direct breach of a 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers but "violates the spirit of that". A UN Security Council resolution underpinning the pact urges Iran to refrain from testing missiles designed to be able to carry nuclear warheads, but imposes no obligation. Critics say the resolution’s language does not make this obligatory.
Tehran says its missile tests do not breach UN resolutions because they are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
"No enemy can paralyze the Iranian nation," Ayatollah Khamenei said. "(Trump) says, 'You should be afraid of me'. No! The Iranian people will respond to his words on Feb. 10 and will show their stance against such threats."
The Leader said, “The new US president says, ‘You should be grateful to [former US president Barack] Obama! Why? Should we be thankful for the creation of Daesh, the flames [of violence] in Iraq and Syria, and open support for the 2009 sedition [in Iran]?”
“It was him (Obama) who brought the crippling sanctions to the Iranian people,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “Of course he fell short of his goal, and no enemy can cripple the Iranian people.
“These are the examples of the very velvet gloves that the previous US administration had pulled over its iron claw.”
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with a number of commanders, officers, pilots, and staff members from Iran’s Air Force and the country’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base.
The meeting took place on the anniversary of a historical development before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that saw Homafaran, Air Force officers in the monarchical Pahlavi regime, meeting with and pledging allegiance to Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic.
In his Tuesday remarks, the Leader said, “During the time of the tyrannical [monarchical] regime, the Air Force was one of the closest sections to the US-tied political system. But the regime received the most vehement blow from this very section, something it would have never thought of.”