Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a defiant speech in the face of Iran’s conflict with the West over its nuclear program, vowed that “Iran will stand by all those who will confront America and Israel.”
“The oppressors — and at the helm of it America and the Zionists — have been taken by surprise by the [Arab Spring] movement and are trying with all their power to control it,” Khamenei said. “However, if the Islamic nations resist the conspiracies, then it is guaranteed that they will be victorious over the world oppressors.”
The supreme leader, in an address Wednesday to the participants of the international conference on “Women and Islamic Awakening” in Tehran, made his comments even as it was revealed that the U.S. Navy is rushing underwater drones to the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from closing the Strait of Hormuz should hostilities break out. The submersibles seek out and destroy mines.
In his address, Khamenei first criticized the Western approach with women and emphasized that the West for over a century has tried to influence Islamic women and separate them from their great culture and heritage.
“The West, in the depth of their culture, treats women as a vehicle for the satisfaction of men … and on that path calls it freedom, just like how they call it freedom and democracy when they send their troops to kill and steal the wealth of other nations,” Khamenei said, according to the Keyhan newspaper.
Ironically, women in Iran are forced to adhere to Islamic hijab and often are taken into custody if they do not fully comply, with punishment ranging from lashing to imprisonment. Under Islamic law, Iranian women have no right to equal inheritance, child custody or divorce and are subjected to stoning for the charge of adultery. There have also been widespread reports of women being raped in Iranian prisons as a means of torture.
Calling Iran a hundred times stronger than it was at the beginning of the 1979 revolution in its confrontation with the West, Khamenei emphasized that the West has failed to derail Iran’s support for the Palestinians.
“The Islamic republic of Iran, with the guidance of Allah, stands by the nation of Palestine and all awakened nations with their revolutions,” Khamenei said. “And for all those who confront America and the Zionists, we will defend them. And on this path, we will not be considerate of any power.”
In February, Khamenei had said that Iran will back “any nation, any groups” fighting Israel, but he had not mentioned America. With the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program reaching a dead end and the possibility of war increasing, the leader of the Islamic regime is preparing his loyal following and Islamic nations in the region for a possible confrontation.
As reported last week, the regime’s state-owned media widely published Khamenei’s statement on the need to prepare for war, stressing his ideological belief that the upcoming confrontation with the West will be a prelude to the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah and Islamic conquest of the world.
Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs, last week stressed that the Islamic movements in the region require Iran to be directly involved. “No other country has this kind of power and capacity,” he said in an interview.
Calling Syria the golden ring in the fight against Israel, Velayati said, “Today Russia and America, for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, are at a point of confrontation, and we are witnessing the preliminary start of a cold war between world powers, with Russia and China on one side, and America, England and France on the other. This cold war will start from the Middle East and Syria.”
Addressing the nuclear issue, Velayati said, “The nuclear technology is the most advanced technology in the world. … Whoever has this technology has the upper hand. … Our advancement in the field of nuclear technology and other fields is growing.”
Velayati, who served as the Islamic regime’s foreign minister from 1981 to 1997, is wanted along with six other Iranian officials by the courts in Argentina for the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
The regime’s current defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, who oversees Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, has been flagged by Interpol for that crime.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award-winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior fellow with EMPact America, a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).