Kerry says Iran vow to defy U.S. is 'very disturbing'

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program was "very disturbing".

"I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy," he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, parts of which the network quoted on Tuesday.

Check out pictures of Iranians reacting to the nuclear deal:

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Iranians react to the nuclear deal
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Kerry says Iran vow to defy U.S. is 'very disturbing'
Iranians celebrate following a landmark nuclear deal in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Overcoming decades of hostility, Iran, the United States, and five other world powers struck a historic accord Tuesday to check Tehran's nuclear efforts short of building a bomb. The agreement could give Iran access to billions in frozen assets and oil revenue, stave off more U.S. military action in the Middle East and reshape the tumultuous region. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
An Iranian woman holds up an Iranian flag as people celebrate a landmark nuclear deal, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Overcoming decades of hostility, Iran, the United States, and five other world powers struck a historic accord Tuesday to check Tehran's nuclear efforts short of building a bomb. The agreement could give Iran access to billions in frozen assets and oil revenue, stave off more U.S. military action in the Middle East and reshape the tumultuous region. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Iranians gather in celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown Tuesday to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian women flash the v sign for victory during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown Tuesday to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian women take part in street celebrations following a landmark nuclear deal, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Overcoming decades of hostility, Iran, the United States, and five other world powers struck a historic accord Tuesday to check Tehran's nuclear efforts short of building a bomb. The agreement could give Iran access to billions in frozen assets and oil revenue, stave off more U.S. military action in the Middle East and reshape the tumultuous region. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Iranians celebrate in northern Tehran, on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Iranian man flashes the victory sign as an other holds the Iranian national flag during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Major powers clinched a historic deal Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians celebrate in northern Tehran, on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Jubilant Iranians sing and wave Iran flags during street celebrations following a landmark nuclear deal, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. After long, fractious negotiations, world powers and Iran struck an historic deal Tuesday to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions - an agreement aimed at averting the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
An Iranian man flashes the victory sign qnd holds the portrait of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Major powers clinched a historic deal Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
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"But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were "180 degrees" opposed to Iran's, at a speech in a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".

"Even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change," Khamenei said.

Related video: Jerry Seib: Was Iran Deal the Best Option for U.S.?

Jerry Seib: Was Iran Deal the Best Option for U.S.?

Several Gulf Arab states have long accused Tehran of interference, alleging financial or armed support for political movements in countries including Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon.

Kerry said the U.S. believed its Arab allies had the ability to confront Iranian interference in the region.

"I think President Obama's belief and our military assessments, our intelligence assessments, are that if they organize themselves correctly, all of the Arab states have an untapped potential that is very, very significant to be able to push back against any of these activities," he said.

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