Iran's supreme leader said on Thursday the United States was "deeply hated" in the Middle East and called for change in United States actions to gain back Muslim trust.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking on the same day U.S. President Barack Obama gave a major speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, said the hatred felt toward America could not be changed with "slogans" but that action was needed.
"The nations in the region hate the United States from the bottom of their hearts because they have seen violence, military intervention and discrimination," Khamenei said at the mausoleum of Khomeini.
"The new U.S. government seeks to transform this image. I say firmly, that this will not be achieved by talking, speech and slogans.”
"They have done things that have deeply hurt the nations in the region... action is needed and one cannot remove this deep hatred by words, speeches and slogans."
Khamenei was speaking to thousands of Iranians and several foreigners at the mausoleum on the southern outskirts of Tehran to mark Khomeini's death anniversary.
His speech in Tehran marked the 20th anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.
He also called Israel, which Iran does not recognize, a "cancerous tumor in the heart" of the Muslim world.
Khomeini's speech came just over a week before Iran goes to the polls on June 12 to choose a new president.
Obama's speech later on Thursday is aimed at more than 1 billion Muslims across the world but choosing Cairo underscores his focus on the Middle East, where he faces some of his biggest foreign policy challenges.
Obama wants to build a coalition of Muslim governments that will back his efforts to revive stalled Middle East peace talks and help the United States curb Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West says is to build bombs.