Iran: US Officials '1st Class Idiots'

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- 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.

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."

(KA)