U.S. says comments by Khamenei not helpful to talks with Iran

Recent derogatory comments against Israel made by Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, are not helpful during the negotiation process of Iran's denuclearization, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Wednesday during her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to a question about Khamenei's recent comment that Israel is the rabid dog of the region. She said that while comments like the ones made by Khamenei are not helpful, the U.S. still believes both sides are negotiating in good faith.

"We still believe that we're closer than we were going into Geneva, and we still feel that we have an opportunity to move forward on a diplomatic path with the Iranians, and I would feel pretty confident in saying that the other P5+1 members feel the same way," Psaki said.

Psaki said that while things are sensitive at this point in the negotiations, the U.S. and the other members of the P5+1 are focused on moving toward the successful denuclearization of Iran. She also noted that Israel is a close ally and friend to the U.S. and one of the reasons for the ongoing negotiations is to protect Israel's security.