A state trooper pepper sprays pro-Palestinian protesters, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, after police vehicles were blocked at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, US April 29, 2024.

Khamenei Claims Campus Protests In US Vindicate His Policies

Wednesday, 05/01/2024

US support for Israel in the past six months has vindicated the Islamic Republic’s pessimism toward the United States, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei claimed in a speech on Wednesday.

Khamenei and his loyalists in the Iranian regime have seen victory in pro-Hamas protests in American universities, and the Supreme Leader made sure to highlight this to his audience.

“Despite the extensive efforts of Zionists and their American and European supporters, the issue of Gaza remains the top global concern. Protests against the crimes of the Zionist regime in American universities and their expansion to European universities are signs of the continued sensitivity of public opinion worldwide to the Gaza issue,” Iran’s authoritarian ruler said.

Khamenei has invested 35 years of his rule to relentlessly campaign against Israel, the United States and Western influence, not only in the Middle East but also in distant places in Africa and Latin America.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

In the process, energy-rich Iran has become isolated and cut-off from the global economy, gradually losing its economic viability, with a shrinking GDP, high inflation and dependence on China and Russia.

With heavy political and military investment on Hamas and other militant groups in the region, Khamenei seems desperate to showcase any sign of anti-Israeli and anti-Western public opinion at home and abroad as a sign of vindication for his worldview.

“The brutal and merciless behavior of the rabid Zionist dog proved the righteousness of the Islamic Republic's position and the Iranian people, and the massacre of thirty-some thousand people, half of whom are women and children, demonstrated the evil nature of the Zionist regime and the perpetual righteousness of Iran to the whole world,” Khamenei stated.

Claiming repression against protesters on US campuses, Khamenei said, "This issue has shown to everyone that America is complicit in the crime and an accomplice to the unforgivable sin of the massacre of the people of Gaza by the Zionists, and some of their seemingly sympathetic words are lies; therefore, the position of the Islamic Republic, which cannot be optimistic about the US government and trust it, has been proven."

Khamenei feels insecure after years of anti-regime protests by ordinary Iranians, whose social freedoms are being curtailed by Islamic restrictions and their economic status degraded by high inflation and lack of real jobs. He is most likely aware that especially the younger generation cares little about his anti-West ideology and yearns for living like their peers in free and prosperous societies.

Most protesters belong to Generation Z, ranging from teenagers to those in their early 20s. Hundreds of them have been killed by security forces during rounds of protests since 2017. Despite relentless propaganda by the government and dozens of state and religious institutions, there have been clear indications that many in Iran oppose the regime’s anti-Israeli and anti-Western ideology. From chants during protests and football matches, to graffities popping up on the walls and Israeli flags appearing in Tehran, some Iranians let the government know what they think about sacrificing their well-being to support militant Palestinians.

However, Khamenei insists on having no diplomatic and economic relations with the United States and continuing to spend billions of dollars arming regional militant proxy groups with the stated goal of driving the US out of the Middle East and “wiping Israel off the map.”

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