Thursday, March 09, 2006

Khamenei Orders Resistance in Nuclear Dispute

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Monsters and Critics:
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday ordered resistance in the nuclear dispute. 'We will resist and continue the path of progress and pride by relying on God and wisdom,' state news television IRIB quoted Khamenei as saying. 'If we give in this time, then the Europeans will come up next with new excuses to deprive us from scientific achievements,' said Khamenei, who has the final say on all state affairs in accordance with the Iranian constitution.

The Ayatollah accused the United States for having taken the nuclear dispute to start a 'psychological war' against Iran with the final aim to prevent any progress in the Islamic state. READ MORE

'What makes Islamic Iran unbearable for the Americans is the impact of Iranian policies in recent elections such as in Iraq and Palestine where the results were in favour of Islamic groups,' Khamenei said, referring to the victory of the Shiite groups in Iraq and the Hamas movement in Palestine.

The supreme leader termed nuclear technology as a 'genuine necessity' for the country's energy sector in future years when oil and gas reserves would gradually come to an end.

'Considering this genuine necessity, all officials in Iran are obliged to continue the path of nuclear technology and not surrender to any pressures,' said Khamenei, who since 1989 has been successor to the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

He called on the Iranian nation not to consider the current situation being just limited to the nuclear dispute, but rather as Western efforts to deprive Iran from progress in general.

'The issue will affect our future destiny and we have therefore to show unity and resistance and despite some probable difficulties ahead of us, we will upon God's will gain victory like in other phases of our Islamic revolution,' Khamenei said.

Earlier Thursday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran would resist political pressure on its nuclear programmes and not accept humiliation.

'We knew that in our path towards progress we would face such hindrances and we also knew that we have no other way than resistance,' ISNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during a speech in Pole-Dokhtar city in the western Lorestan province.

The president's remarks were made after the United Nations Security Council finally took charge of the Iranian nuclear dispute.

'We follow the slogan of our beloved Imam Hussein and say 'Hey Hat Mena Zelah' (I will be damned if I give in to humiliation),' Ahmadinejad said.

He was referring to the famous remark by Imam Hussein, the Prophet Mohammed's grandson and believed by Shiites to be the Third Imam, before battle in the Karbala desert in southern Iraq 13 centuries ago, where he rejected a peace offer from his main opponent Yazid.

Hussein was eventually killed in the battle as he attempted to implement Islam in the region.

In a meeting Wednesday with families of people from Lorestan province who died in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, Ahmadinejad said that 'the Iranian people would even sacrifice their lives to realize their rights.

'The sacrifice mentality of the Iranians is the drive behind the nation's power of resistance,' the president said.

Ahmadinejad further said that he discussed with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan about the nature of international bodies and asked him whether the UN was created to defend the rights of nations 'or to deprive them of their rights.

'They (the West) are however perfectly aware of the fact that they cannot harm Iran because they are fragile and will be harmed more (by possible sanctions),' he added.

Chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani last week did not rule out that pressure or sanctions against Iran would lead to an international oil crisis and hence hurt not only Iran but also the West.

Ahmadinejad had said Wednesday that even the UN Security Council could not stop the continuation of Iran's atomic programmes.

'The path of the Iranian nation is clear and neither an international body nor a specific country can hinder the country's progress (in the nuclear field),' ISNA news agency quoted the president as saying during a speech in Lorestan.

'Some countries are currently putting us under pressure and there is nothing these countries can do against Iran: they need both the Iranian nation and the Iranian government (rather than vice-versa),' Ahmadinejad said.

Referring to the Western demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment activities for about 10 years, the president said the West might ask to extend this period over and over again and 'eventually it might take 100 years until we can finally get their trust.'

Western nations, led primarily by the US and EU, fear that Iran plans to use enriched uranium to make atomic bombs. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are purely to produce energy for domestic consumption.

Notice how the Iranian leadership is attempting to frame the nuclear issue as a matter of Iranian pride and progress. Not the confrontation of the world and the oppressive leadership of the Iranian regime.

The regime knows that it is hugely unpopular and so it linking itself to the traditional pride of the Iranian people towards its culture. They fear the Iranian people far more than any military attack. This is why the regime has departed, in this one instance, from the traditional stance of denigrating anything Persian in favor of appealing to it.

The Iranian people can see the hypocrisy of this. For instance, their hugely popular Persian tradition, of the Festival of Fire has been banned by the regime, because it is "un-Islamic." Yet they appeal to Persian pride when it suits them. The world should celebrate this tradition next week with the Iranian people as a show of solidarity with them.

It is also hypocritical for the regime to speak of "rights" when their own people's personal human rights are trampled daily. Just yesterday the regime crushed numerous peaceful "International Women’s Day" celebrations around the country, despite constitutional guarantees for such gatherings. The western media should be championing these women instead of ignoring them.

This is why the west needs to broadcast the truth, using informed journalists, as to what the Iranian regime is doing to its people and its international reputation. Since the Iranian press is forbidden to criticize the Iranian regime's stance on the nuclear issue, we need to broadcast the truth to them now!

Correction: It appears that my statement that the regime has banned the "Festival of Fire" appears incorrect. I was referring to this report.