Tactical compromises with “the enemies” will not reduce their enmity Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on the death anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
“Our young people should pay attention. The enmity of world arrogance will not disappear with tactical retrenchments. Some imagine that if we retreat on some issue, their enmity will decrease against us. This is a mistake,” the 83-year-old ruler said.
‘World arrogance’ is a term coined by the Islamic Republic to refer to the United States, which it claims wants to subjugate Iran. Anti-Americanism is the ideological cornerstone of the regime Khamenei has created during more than three decades of his authoritarian rule.
In the speech, Khamenei seemed to be speaking both about tactical or partial retreats both by Iran and its enemies, but he clearly tells the audience that any concession by the Islamic Republic will not pacify the United States and end its “enmity”.
Khamenei in his televised speech on Sunday praised Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic who died in June 1989. He said the revolutionary leader was a world figure who had a lasting impact on Iran, the Muslim world and the international community.
Khamenei replaced Khomeini as Supreme Leader a few days after the revolutionary cleric’s death but lacked his stature, reputation and political power. During more than three decades, however, Khamenei has built powerful repressive institutions and killed thousands of ordinary people protesting his dictatorship.
Khamenei warned that no matter what diplomatic developments take place “Objectives do not change, confrontation remains constant, but the Iranian nation has become stronger.”
What poses a threat to the Islamic Republic, he said, “is to forget enmity.” He added that across the world there are forces ready to invade others and will do so wherever they can.
That reality also was apparent in his speech. He called on his followers to have “hope” and show the same resilience that, according to him, Khomeini displayed during his life.
“Whoever loves Iran and upholds national interests, whoever wants to see improvement in the economic situation, whoever wants to see Iran in an honorable international position, should strive to boost faith and hope among the people,” Khamenei stressed.
He also repeated his long-held argument that “the enemy” most of all wants to weaken the nation’s faith and hope.
This political rhetoric bands everything Khamenei does not like into what the enemy is after. Women’s right, political freedoms, economic demands are all plots by the enemy. His underlings readily repeat this message and accuse those who have any criticism of “working for the enemy’s objectives.”
Along the same rhetoric, Khamenei also repeated his earlier claims that the recent nationwide protests were a plot hatched by the enemies. He told his followers that the enemy thought it had organized everything so well that “the fate of the Islamic Republic was sealed.” They were wrong he boasted.
Government forces killed more than 500 civilians and arrested more than 20,000 people until February, and more persecution and arrests continue.
Amid extremely high inflation and poverty, Khamenei said, “The aim of the enemy is to sow despair among the youth. There are some difficulties, and the enemy tries to constantly remind our young people about these problems. Inshallah, all these difficulties will be resolved.”