Friday, January 4, 2008

Khamenei: No Relations with US

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, in a major speech delivered yesterday in Yazd, spoke against normalizing relations with the US, at least for now. Establishing relations with the US, he warned, would prepare the ground for the growth of US influence in Iran and creates a danger for the country because of “the travel of their intelligence officers and spies to and from Iran.”

Khamenie did not close the door entirely. Iran has never said that relations with the US will be suspended indefinitely, he stressed. He made it clear, however, that no one should expect any changes soon, “The establishment of such relations is currently to our detriment. So we should not pursue such relations.”

Khamenie also made it clear that he has the last say in foreign policy. “When the day comes that relations with America will benefit the Iranian nation, I will be the first person to endorse these relations.” He ridiculed the proponents of establishing relations with the US as “talkative people.”

Khamenei surprised Iran analysts by saying frankly that Iran is the force behind anti-American activities in the Middle East. He singled out Hezbollah, “America with its arrogance and power has never been able to beat Hezbollah and American officials have realized that Iran is the main factor behind their failures in the region.”

On nuclear issue, Ayatollah Khamenei criticized Khatami’s government for suspending uranium enrichment and characterized suspension as "backing down in the face of enemy." He added, “It showed to the Iranian nation and the world public opinion that the West's promises are hollow, because Iran's temporary and voluntary suspension was misused by the enemy in an attempt to close down Iran's entire nuclear activities.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also made it clear that he is the main force behind Iran’s nuclear policy. He said after the West made various demands on the country’s nuclear program, he stopped he process and ordered the resumption of enrichment program, “I stressed that if the process of constant demands by Iran's nuclear parties continue, I will enter into the scene, and this finally happened and the process that was leading to closing down our nuclear activities turned into nuclear progress.”

Khamenei defended Ahmadinejad against charges that his hostility toward the US has harmed Iran’s national interests. He said US “enmity towards the Iranian nation is not based on the [Iranian] president... On the contrary, the US is against the principles of the Iranian nation and such a thing has existed since the beginning of the Islamic revolution.”

Khamenei asked the critics of Ahmadinejad’s government not to constantly seek “mistakes in the decisions and practice of the executive body, particularly the government.” He added, “Some individuals attempt to criticize and insult every move by the government. The majority of these individuals are however negligent that they are acting in line with the enemies' propaganda.”

On the possibility of a military action against Iran, Khamenei said, “Of course, the possibility of such a thing is much less than before.” He was apparently referring to the publication of the new NIE by the US government.

1 comment:

Mark Pyruz said...

Khamenei's comments seem to hint that Iran-US relations could possibly change for the positive under a new US Administration, based upon changed US policies toward Iran.

Depicting Iran as the center of resistance to what it considers "The World Arrogance" is nothing new, and has been around since the days of Khomeini.

Interesting that "the Decider" chose to address and lend support to the Executive Branch, which has come under harsh scrutiny from an alliance of sorts containing moderate and reformist political forces.