Iran’s supreme leader lashed out at America and Israel on Sunday, demanding that American billionaire Sheldon Adelson be silenced and implying that the U.S. is powerless to do anything about Iran’s nuclear program.
“If Americans are telling the truth that they are serious about negotiation, they should slap these prating people [Adelson] in the mouth and crush their mouths,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech on the eve of the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979.
Adelson, a casino tycoon and staunch supporter of Israel, criticized the Obama administration during a panel discussion held at Yeshiva University in New York City on Oct. 22 for negotiating with Iran over its illicit nuclear program — and claimed that the U.S. should detonate a nuclear weapon in a remote part of Iran to intimidate the Ayatollah.
“What are we going to negotiate about?” Adelson asked. “I would say, ‘Listen, you see that [Iranian] desert out there? I want to show you something… You pick up your cell phone, and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK, let it go.’ And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over, ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes and scorpions, or whatever. Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.’ ”
As The Daily Caller reported on Oct. 7, the radicals ruling Iran organized mass rallies to mark the “Death to America” day on Monday, and to emphasize the Islamic Republic’s view of the U.S. as the “Great Satan” and Israel as an “illegitimate state.”
“[The United States], which is under the illusion that it is responsible for world and nuclear issues, doesn’t have a damn right to pose a nuclear threat to another country,” Khamenei said, referring to Adelson’s speech. “Today, Americans care the most for the decadent Zionist regime and circles because the [Obama] administration and Congress are dominated by powerful capitalists and Zionist companies… but we are not forced to treat them with care. We have said since the very first day (of the Islamic Revolution), and we do say it now and we will say it in future as well, that we believe the Zionist regime is an illegitimate and bastard regime.”
Khamenei added that he is not optimistic about negotiations with the U.S., calling America the most hated power in the world.
“That day, our youth named the place, the spy then, Khamenei said, referring to the U.S. Embassy takeover of 1979. “Today, more than three decades later, U.S. embassies in Europe are America’s partners [in spying]. This shows that our youth are more than three decades ahead of world events.”
“What damn thing can [America] do about it?” Khamenei asked, referring to the U.S. policy that put “all options on the table” when it came to handling Iran’s nuclear program.
The second round of nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers will take place on Nov. 7-8.
Despite several U.N. resolutions and sanctions and demands from the U.S. and the European Union ordering a halt to Iran’s illicit nuclear program, the Islamic regime has significantly expanded its program and currently has over 19,000 centrifuges online, with enough enriched uranium for more than six nuclear bombs. It has also amassed over a thousand ballistic missiles and is working on intercontinental ballistic missiles in collaboration with North Korea.
A recent report by the Institute for Science and International Security suggested that Iran, with its current enriched uranium stock, could build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray“ (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).