Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday the armed forces should increase their combat capability regardless of political considerations, in an apparent allusion to continuing nuclear talks with the West aimed at easing tension in the Middle East.

“Given our vast maritime borders and the enemy’s huge investments in this area, our armed forces should continuously improve their (combat) readiness, irrespective of political calculations,” Khamenei told a gathering of senior navy officials during a ceremony to mark the “Navy Week” in Iran.

Khamenei, who commands all branches of the armed forces in addition to other key centers of power in the Islamic republic, did not mention any countries by name but he normally uses “enemy” to refer mainly to the United States and Britain — both of which have intervened in Iran over the past century. […]