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IRAN: Khamenei binds nukes to revolution's goals

June 3, 2008 |  8:40 am

Khamenei1

Iran's top political, religious and military authority said his country would refuse to back down on its nuclear ambitions, regardless of what the U.S. tried to do.

Supreme leader Ali Khamenei spoke today to thousands of followers as well as politicians, ambassadors and other dignitaries gathered at the south Tehran tomb of revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on the 19th anniversary of his death.

"Our nation will not back down one moment against bullying of the U.S," he said in a momentous and politically charged speech:

The U.S. and its allies are ready to transfer nuclear technology to countries with much less technological competence, but refuse to accept our rights in that regard and all the time they accuse us of pursuing a nuclear bomb. We have said over and over again that we do not want the bomb. But because we have managed to have native nuclear technology and we are not depending on them for that, they are accusing us of trying to have nuclear weapon. For them if you are technologically dependent on them in the nuclear field, they do not mind you having nuclear power. But they know that the Iranian nation has achieved nuclear technology for peaceful purposes without relying on them. That is why they are against us.

Seated in an armchair, with his white long beard and eyeglasses framing his pale face, Khamenei said the U.S. was baffled by Iran:

Khamenei2The American president and his staff in the administration are calling sometimes for psychological warfare, sometimes terrorism and sometimes begging for help from the Iranian nation. They are confused because of the U.S. failure in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He also thunderously called for a return to the basic values of the Islamic revolution that transformed his country and the world 30 years ago. That includes spreading the revolution's values:

Today the anti-imperialist slogans of the Iranian nation are music to the minds and hearts of Islamic nations across the world. Defending the oppressed nation of Palestine and opposing with the octopus network of Zionism are part and parcel of the revolution.

Though he didn't make the incendiary calls for the destruction of Israel, he said the Jewish state was weak and unable to survive without outside help:

There are two reasons for its standing on its feet. One is the contemptuous support without any preconditions of the U.S. and the other reason is that Arab and Islamic countries do not support the Palestinian people. Israel is a forgery and an imposed country in the region, and if the Arab and Islamic countries support the Palestinian nation, the circumstances in the Middle East will change entirely.

Much of Khamenei's speech focused on Iran's domestic situation. He said the turbulent and ideologically first years of the Islamic Republic served as a guide for today's leadership. 

Khomeini

"The political will of the late Imam Khomeini  should be the manual for running day-to-day routine of the country now and in the years to come, generation after generation," he said.

In his speech, he allowed for no possibility of changing the system to keep up with changing times:

The Islamic revolution is like Islam, as the religion is comprehensive. It is political, social, cultural, religious at the same time and that is the secret of its survival. No one has the right to ignore or separate one part of the Islamic revolution's values, simply because circumstances in the world have changed. Nobody has the right to forget the anti-despotic and anti-alien forces character of the revolution or to ignore religious values of the revolution. This revolution is alive with all its revolutionary slogans. This revolution belongs to all walks of society and it is not exclusive to one specific walk or class.

The worshipers and pilgrims at Khomeini's shrine responded with uproarious praise. "Oh, free-minded leader," they chanted, "we are fully ready."

Khamenei likened Iranians who failed to support the revolution's values to those who break the Ramadan fast before dusk but also appealed to Iran's nationalism. Islam, he said, strengthened the Iranian nation.

Our Islamic revolution is a contribution to the progress of the nation. Enemies of the nation for years argued that progress is mutually exclusive with religion. On the contrary ... the spirit of revolution has empowered the nation in all fields. Islamic revolution has been a short cut between backwardness and West-toxification.

"Death to America!" the faithful chanted. "Death to America!"

"Today," he continued, "a cold war against the Islamic revolution is taking place and it's waged by the arrogant powers in all aspects of life. In the cultural field the enemies want to undermine the determination of our nation, especially the youth, by spreading narcotic addiction and promoting debauchery among young generation. Every single member of society should fight against narcotic addiction and debauchery so that young people channel their energies into innovation and scientific progress."

Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

Photos: From top, Supreme leader Ali Khamenei addressed the faithful today (ISNA). They gathered inside the shrine dedicated to the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (ISNA). They also practiced lamentation ceremonies outside the shrine (ISNA).

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