Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has harshly criticized Britain in a response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s claim that Iran poses a threat to the region.
"The British were the root of all evil in the region over the last two centuries, now in barefaced fashion they accuse Iran of all countries of being a threat," Khamenei said in remarks published on his website on December 17.
Britain has attempted throughout history to assert its interests through intrigue, Khamenei said.
Earlier this month, May said at a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Bahrain that she was "clear-eyed about the threat that Iran poses to the Gulf and the wider Middle East."
May said the Gulf countries must all, "work together to push back against Iran's aggressive regional actions, whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, or in the Gulf itself."
The Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran summonned the British ambassador following May’s comments, saying such remarks could seriously harm relations.
After a five-year freeze in diplomatic relations, Britain and Iran only recently reopened their respective embassies.