Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan led chants of “death to America” on Sunday and derided American conceptions of democracy and freedom during a visit to Iran, planned as a show of support for the regime ahead of the re-implementation of U.S. sanctions.
Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite who has been embraced by prominent liberal activists and lawmakers, railed against American policymakers for harassing the Iranian people and siding with Saudi Arabia in its proxy war with Iran in Yemen.
“I understand how the enemies have plotted against the Iranian people and I would like to stay alongside you to stop their plots,” he said during a meeting with the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezaei, according to state-owned news agency Mehr. “Satan seeks to divide Muslims and wants them to kill each other, while God tells us in the Quran to be united.”
During a subsequent speaking appearance at the University of Tehran law school, Farrakhan mocked America’s founding ideals while praising the Islamic conception of women’s rights and Iran’s strict enforcement of female modesty.
“America has never been a democracy and has always leaned towards the wealthy and powerful class,” he said before leading the law students in chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”
Farrakhan, who recently referred to Jews as “termites,” has been lauded by Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory as the “GOAT” or Greatest of All Time. Linda Sarsour, Mallory’s fellow Women’s March leader, has also praised Farrakhan on multiple occasions and has refused to condemn his anti-Semitism.
Asked about his relationship with Farrakhan, Representative Danny Davis (D., Ill.) said “I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people.”
Representative Keith Ellison(D., Minn.), who is now running to be Minnesota’s attorney general, has met privately with Farrakhan on multiple occasions. Then-senator Barack Obama’s 2005 meeting with Farrakhan was captured in a recently released photograph.