On August 17, 2015, just over a month after the announcement of the JCPOA in Vienna, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a speech at a conference held by the Iranian Shi'ite Ahl Al-Bayt organization that the U.S. is the embodiment of the enemy of the Islamic peoples and of Iran. It must be fought with military, cultural, economic, and political jihad, he said, adding that Islamic Iran is not interested in reconciling with it. He further claimed that the U.S. is attempting to divide the Islamic world into Shi'ite and Sunni camps that will wage a religious war against each other, and in this way gain it will be able to gain control over the peoples of the region.
Iran, he stressed, stands behind the resistance axis, opposes the division of Syria and Iraq, and will continue to support anyone who fights Israel.
Following are excerpts from a report on the speech that was posted on Khamenei's website (Leader.ir):
"[Khamenei said:] 'We must combat the plans of the arrogance [i.e. the West, led by the U.S.] with jihad for the sake of Allah.' The Leader pointed to 'America's efforts to exploit the results of the nuclear talks and exert economic, political, and cultural influence in Iran' and to the plots of the power-hungry order aimed at sowing conflict and gaining influence in the region. The Leader called for 'adopting the correct plans in order to wisely and consistently fight this plot, in an offense against it and a defense against it.'
"[Khamenei said:] 'Jihad for the sake of God does not only mean military conflict, but also means cultural, economic, and political struggle. The clearest essence of jihad for the sake of God today is to identify the plots of the arrogance in the Islamic region, especially the sensitive and strategic West Asian region. The planning for the struggle against them should include both defense and offense.
"[He continued:] 'The plots of the arrogance in the region have continued for a century, but [its] pressure and plotting increased after Iran's Islamic Revolution , in order to prevent [this Revolution] from spreading to other countries. For 35 years, the regime in Iran has been subjected to threats, sanctions, security pressure, and various political plots. The Iranian nation has grown accustomed to this pressure. After the Islamic awakening movement blossomed in recent years in North Africa [i.e. the Arab Spring], the enemy greatly stepped up its plots in the West Asian region because of its panic.
"'The enemies thought that they could suppress the Islamic awakening movement, but it cannot be suppressed. It continues, and sooner or later it will prove itself as reality.
"'The power-hungry order led by the United States of America is the perfectly clear embodiment of "the concept of the enemy." America has no human morality. It carries out evil crimes under the guise of flowery statements and smiles. The enemy's plot is two pronged: creating conflict and [exerting] influence. [The enemy sows conflict] among governments, and, worse, among the nations. At this stage, they are using the Shi'a and the Sunna to create conflict among the nations. Britain is an expert in sowing conflict; the Americans are its apprentices.
"'Establishing violent despicable criminal takfiri circles, which the Americans have acknowledged establishing, is the main means of sowing conflict, ostensibly religious conflict, among [the Muslim] nations. Sadly, some innocent and ignorant Muslims have been fooled by this plot, and have been tricked by the enemy and fallen into its trap. Syria is an obvious example of this. When Tunisia and Egypt, with Islamic slogans, ousted their infidel governments, the Americans and Zionists decided to use this formula to eliminate the countries of the resistance, turning their attention to Syria. After the events in Syria began, some ignorant Muslims were tricked by the enemy and dragged Syria to its current situation. What is happening today in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and other countries, which some people insist on calling "a religious war," is in no way a war of religion [i.e. Sunni vs. Shi'ite], but a political war. The most important duty today is to remove these conflicts.
"'I have explicitly stated that Iran reaches out in friendship to all the Islamic governments in the region, and that we have no problem with Muslim governments. Iran has friendly relations with most of its neighbors. Some still have conflicts with us; they are stubborn, and carry out nefarious acts, but Iran aspires to good relations with its neighbors and with the Islamic governments, especially with the governments in the region. The basis for Iran's conduct comprises the principles laid out by Imam Khomeini, which he used to bring about victory for the Islamic Revolution, and he led it to a phase of stability.
"'One of the principles of the [Islamic] regime [in Iran] is to be "forceful against the disbelievers, merciful amongst themselves [Koran 48:29]." On the basis of Imam Khomeini's lesson, we do not wish to reconcile with the arrogance, but we aspire to friendship with our Muslim brothers. When we support [any of] the oppressed, we ignore the religious element; we provide the same aid to our Shi'ite brothers in Lebanon and to our Sunni brothers in Gaza. We see the Palestinian issue as the chief issue of the Islamic world.
"'There must be no exacerbation of the conflict in the Islamic world. I oppose any conduct, even by Shi'ite circles, that creates conflict. I condemn the insults against the sanctities of the Sunna.
"'The U.S. has aspired for decades to infiltrate the region and regain its lost reputation. The Americans wish to infiltrate Iran with the [JCPOA] agreement, whose fate in Iran and in the U.S. is still unknown. But we have decisively blocked this path, and we will do anything to keep them from infiltrating Iran economically, politically, and culturally.
"'Iran's regional policy is the opposite of America's. While [America] seeks to divide the countries of the region and to create statelets that obey it, this will not happen. Some were amazed by statements I made in the past about America's attempt to divide Iraq, but today the Americans themselves honestly acknowledge this. The Americans' clear goal is to divide Iraq, and, if they can, Syria as well. But the territorial integrity of the countries of the region - Iraq and Syria - is very important to Iran.
"'Iran supports the resistance in the region, including the Palestinian resistance, and we will support anyone who struggles against Israel and strikes at the Zionist regime. Iran's chief policy is a struggle against America's policy of division and its sowing of conflict. We do not recognize the Shi'a that is based in London and works in the service of the arrogance.
"'In contrast to unfounded claims, Iran is not interfering in Bahrain and Yemen, but will continue to support the oppressed. The massacre of oppressed Yemenis and the destruction of that country must be strictly condemned. Promoting some [Saudi] political goals via foolish methods results in ongoing crimes against the Yemeni people.
"'There are also painful events in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Muslims must be wise and vigilant, and thus they will solve these problems.
"'The Islamic Radio and Television Union [organization in Iran] is an important center in the struggle against the dangerous empire of the sophisticated American-Zionist media mafia. We must strengthen and grow this movement...
"'The future of the region belongs to the Muslim nations. Islam's might is clear and will be maintained because of the presence of the fighting men and women.'"
 It should be noted that in the main Friday sermon in Tehran on August 28, 2015, prayer leader Ayatollah Kazem Seddiqi advised the officials in the government of Iranian President Hassan Rohani not to be misled by the West and the U.S. following the JCPOA, because they are "cannibals, liver-eaters, and anti-religion." Fars, Iran, August 29, 2015.
 Leader.ir, August 18, 2015.