Iran’s Supreme Leader has used the 28th anniversary of the death of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to denounce the US as an “unreliable Great Satan”.
Addressing a crowd at Khomeini’s mausoleum in southern Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei repeatedly used references to the 1980s for statements on the contemporary conflict with Washington. He said Khomeini had described the US as the “Great Satan and an unreliable state”, and then made the present-day claim that the heads of European countries have confessed that no one can trust the US.
“This is wisdom. The Americans are unreliable with respect to all issues,” he asserted.
Khomeini died in 1989, soon after the end of the eight-year war with Iraq. After political maneuvers and his promotion to the senior clerical rank of marja, Khamenei became Supreme Leader.
Khamenei also put terrorism and sanctions at the center of his speech to portray the ongoing resistance and triumph of Iran. He said the country had over “the most violent terrorism” and the “imposed war” with Baghdad, as well as “the toughest sanctions” in all areas.
He then appealed for movements against Iran’s rivals, notably Saudi Arabia, saying young people in countries “subservient to the United States” must “cherish the idea that their countries must be freed from US domination”. Decrying Riyadh’s military intervention in the Yemeni civil war, he said:
The Saudi government must know that if it proceeds with such an approach even for the next 10 or 20 years, it will fail to achieve a victory against the Yemeni people. This is a crime against the innocent people and will bear no fruit.
Khamenei added a message linking Donald Trump and the Saudis:
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) June 4, 2017
On the domestic front, the Supreme Leader — whose office supported the hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi in the May 19 election — confirmed that he would not opposed the victory of President Rouhani, preferring to hail the “massive participation” of the Iranian people in the vote.
While signalling that hardliners should pull back on their challenge — “all Iranians, regardless of the election result, [should] show forbearance”, he did not entirely retract the claims of manipulation used to limit Rouhani’s legitimacy. Instead, he called on officials to “closely examine such cases to prevent their repetition”.
TOP PHOTO: The Supreme Leader waves to the crowd as the grandson of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, Hassan Khomeini, looks on, June 4, 2017 (Tasnim)