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News | Khamenei Lashes Out at Israel, the West, and Domestic Opponents

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles

04 Feb 2012 03:55Comments

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Iran Standard Time (IRST), GMT+3:30

KhameneiFPClose.jpg3:55 a.m., 15 Bahman/February 4 Tehran's Friday Prayers were led yesterday by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In his two sermons, he responded to recent threats from Israel and the United States, and also criticized the domestic opponents of his regime. Responding to statements by President Barack Obama and other American officials that, regarding how it might deal with Iran's nuclear program, "all options are on the table," Khamenei said that the "U.S. threats are a sign of its failure in the face of the Islamic Republic's discourse and indicate that it cannot provide a logical response to Iran's reasoning [for its right to a peaceful nuclear program]. That's why it resorts to force; it does not have any logic except using force and has no way but bloodshed to go forward." He emphasized that the United States and its allies must and do know that Iran is capable of carrying out a vigorous response to punitive sanctions on its oil industry. He declared, "The threat to [wage] war would disfavor the U.S. itself; the war would be ten times greater against the interests of the U.S. itself."

Referring to the letter Obama recently sent to him, Khamenei accused the United States of hypocrisy: "The day will come that the letter will be publicized so that the public in other nations can see it, and everyone will see whether the U.S. delivers on its promises, and how they act the opposite of what they say." Repeating his claim that the Arab Spring represents an Islamic awakening, the ayatollah said, "In another very important development, the peoples of Egypt and Tunisia voted [in parliamentary elections] for Islamic groups, proving that all the efforts of the U.S. and the Zionists to create Islamophobia in those nations and to frighten the people about Islamic governments were in vain. These nations support Islam." He continued, "The U.S. has been defeated in the Middle East -- in Palestine and Iraq -- and the Iraqi nation and government did not allow the U.S. to stay in Iraq, despite its great efforts. The U.S. still intervenes in Iraq's security and oil [issues], but the Iraqi nation and government of Iraq will soon think of some way [to deal with] that too."

Regarding accusations that Iran instigated the revolution in Bahrain, Khamenei said, "We declare it explicitly if we interfere in something. Due to our opposition to the cancerous Zionist regime, we intervened in the victorious wars that lasted 33 days [between the Lebanese Hezbollah and Israel in summer of 2006] and 22 days [when Israel attacked the Gaza Strip in December 2008]. From here on, if any nation or group confronts the Zionist regime, we support that nation, will help it and will not hesitate to declare so. It is incorrect and a lie for Bahrain's ruler to claim that Iran has intervened in his country's affairs. Had we interfered in the country's internal affairs, the situation [in Bahrain] would have been completely different."

Khamenei claimed that international economic sanctions have only benefited Iran, saying of the United States and its European allies, "They want to punish the Iranian nation for being loyal to Islam, but the fact of the matter is that the sanctions will be good for Iran in two respects.... If they had not sanctioned us militarily and had constructed the Bushehr nuclear reactor, and had not closed the doors of science on us, we would not have had such significant scientific and military progress, would not have been in such a strong position in [uranium] enrichment, and would not have progressed in medical and aerospace sciences. Thus, from the perpsective of relying on the endless talent and capabilities of the Iranian youth, sanctions have been good for us." He said added, "According to the Westerners, the main target of the sanctions on the Iranian nation is [to force] the nation to retreat from its nuclear position. Because this political system and this nation will not give up its glorious nuclear achievements, in the final analysis the sanctions will shatter the fear about the West's threats and increase the respect for the Iranian nation. Thus, in this regard the sanctions are also beneficial to us."

KhameneiFPLong.jpgRegarding the domestic front, Khamenei made the following claims:
Iranians can express their opinions freely, and there is freedom in the country.

The Islamic Republic has overcome every challenge.

Iran ranks number one in the region in scientific [development], and has the fastest rate of scientific growth in the world.

All the original slogans of the 1979 Revolution [independence, freedom, and the formation of an Islamic Republic] have been institutionalized, and the values of the Revolution have been passed on to the second and third post-Revolution generations. Some supporters have been lost, but overall support has grown.

The enemy has been trying for two to three months to discourage the nation from voting in the [Majles] elections [on March 3], and some people inside the country, without realizing it, are doing the same. Our external enemies are dishonest, and some in the country are negligent. Those who fail to be elected in these elections should be careful not to act like those who could not get votes in 2009. None of the past elections has been questionable.

Our "yes" and "no" [in response to external developments] are influential in the region and the world. Do not give the people the impression that the country is in crisis. What crisis? We have complete security and the nation is happy.

If even the Leader [Khamenei himself] made a mistake, he should humbly accept his error, and try to correct it.

Copyright © 2012 Tehran Bureau

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