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DUBAI — Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that a speech by Iran's supreme leader vowing to defy American policies despite a deal over Tehran's nuclear program was "very disturbing."
"I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy," he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.
"But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," he added.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told supporters Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were "180 degrees" opposed to Iran's. The speech in a Tehran mosque was punctuated by chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."
"Even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change," Khamenei said.
Several Gulf Arab states have long accused Tehran of interference, alleging financial or armed support for political movements in countries including Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon.
Kerry said the U.S. believed its Arab allies had the ability to confront Iranian interference in the region.