A view shows the area near the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, in central Kharkiv, March 1, 2022.

A view shows the area near the regional administration building, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, in central Kharkiv, March 1, 2022.

Iran's Khamenei Omits Russia's Invasion In Speech, Blames US For Crisis

3/1/2022

Iran's Supreme Leader on Tuesday said Iran is against war in Ukraine but held the US responsible for disrupting its stability and "creating a colored coup".

Reiterating that the US and Western countries cannot be trusted, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Ukraine has fallen victim to US policies and the crises created by Washington without mentioning Russia's invasion in his speech.

He added that Iran opposes the killing of people and the destruction of the infrastructures belonging to other nations and added that Iran wants the war in Ukraine to end. "But resolving any crisis is only possible if its root causes are identified. The Ukrainian crisis is rooted in American policies, Western policies".

“The US disrupted the stability of the country by interfering in its affairs and organizing rallies and creating a colored coup,” he said, possible referring to the revolution in 2014 that toppled Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych. In a televised speech Khamenei claimed that people in Ukraine "did not enter the scene [to defend their country] because they did not recognize [the legitimacy of] their government."

Khamenei’s distortion of the facts on the ground were obvious. The world has been in awe as Ukrainians of all walks of life have joined volunteer forces to fight against Russia’s invading forces.

After widespread protests following the disputed re-election in 2009 of ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Khamenei blamed Western powers, particularly Britain, for instigating "sedition" in Iran. The protests became known as the ‘Green Movement’.

"What they did in 2009 was a new initiative which was Americans' initiative…It was a color revolution, actually a color coup, an unsuccessful color coup," he said in a speech on January 9, 2016. "The coup was an attempt to incite a full-scale civil war in Iran [to pave the way] for foreign domination."

Calling the governments of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani "puppet regimes", he said they had both confessed that the US had abandoned them when crises arose at home.

Zelenskyy’s Twitter account has jumped to nearly four million followers in recent days and his determination to resist the invasion has changed long-held European policies of low defense spending and transfer of weapons.

In the speech that marked Eid al-Mab’ath – the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad's announcement of his prophethood, Khamenei drew a parallel between the early Islamic history and current times and said the US is a perfect example and manifestation of modern "ignorance", as were the opponents of the Prophet in his time.

In the past few days, Iranian officials including President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also attributed the crisis in Ukraine to NATO and American “provocations".

Raisi also held a phone call with the Russian President Vladimir Putin on the first day of the Russian invasion. "The President of Iran expressed understanding with respect to Russia’s security concerns caused by the destabilizing actions of the United States and NATO," a Kremlin press release said Thursday evening.

Many Iranians and media outlets have a different view. "Contrary to the government's stance, the hearts of many Iranians are with the people of Ukraine and they condemn this aggression,” reformist commentator Sadegh Zibakalam tweeted February 26.

Some Iranian journalists and media have criticized Raisi's call. "What is the justification for Raisi's call to Putin on the first night of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subtly supporting Russia?" Behrouz Azizi, an Iranian journalist who identifies himself a "moderate conservative", tweeted Thursday.

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