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IRAN: Leader says Tehran can live outside 'unjust' world system

April 15, 2009 |  3:17 pm

Khamenei U.S. officials say Iran should suspend sensitive aspects of its nuclear program and end its support for militant groups in the Middle East or face further international isolation of its economy and population.

But what if Iran's leadership doesn't care if it's isolated?

Today in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's highest political and spiritual authority, delivered some extraordinary remarks regarding his position on relations with the outside world. 

In a speech at a graduation ceremony at Imam Hussein University, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, Khamenei described Iran's 1979 revolution as a reaction to the unfair nature of the international system and said Iran would refuse to be a part of it. 

His comments were televised and some were reported by the official Islamic Republic News Agency after they were delivered. They merit a close reading:

"Those who today advise the Iranian nation and Islamic Republic of Iran to return to the world system are the same individuals who are unhappy and restless of such a great movement [Islamic Revolution] among a nation, especially at such a sensitive occasion. 

By returning to the world system, they mean that Iran should submit to the present unjust system and become a part of it. This is what they want from the Iranian nation. It has been 30 years that the Iranian nation powerfully and with self-confidence and deep and resolute belief in the source of its faith has said no to this ignorant, insane and illogical request."

During Iran's eight-year war with Iraq, he noted, Iran had to rely on an antiquated and dilapidated military and its faith in God to defend itself yet managed to fend off Saddam Hussein's forces. 

Nowadays, he says, Iran has both faith in God and a strong military.

— Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Credit: Iranian Students News Agency