US created Islamic State, claims Iran's supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hits back at Donald Trump, saying Washington is against an independent Iran
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused the US of creating Islamic State and fuelling instability in the Middle East.
In a series of Twitter posts responding to Donald Trump's criticism of the country for "sponsoring terrorism", Khamenei wrote: "That US arms a terrorist group is what causes instability. Who created #ISIS? The US!"
He also told high-ranking Iranian officials that "America's claim of fighting against Islamic State is a lie", Reuters reports, while in an interview with Iranian media, he said the US regarded his country as an enemy.
"The American government is against an independent Iran," he told the semi-official Fars news agency, says The Independent. "They have problems with the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran… Most of our problems with them cannot be resolved."
Trump has broken with his predecessor's attempts at rapprochement with Iran and made several direct verbal attacks on the country, telling it to stop training "terrorists and militias". Tehran has responded in kind.
The dispute adds to the tension in the region, which is in crisis after a Saudi Arabia-led coalition cut ties with Qatar, which has been accused of sponsoring terrorism in the region.
Qatari foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said yesterday the country had "no clue what are the main reasons behind all these measures".
In a show of support, Iran has sent food packages to the kingdom, says CNN.
Tehran also blamed Saudi Arabia for a terrorist attack in the city last week during which 17 people were killed. Riyadh denies the claim.