Khamenei: Iran Would Make U.S. 'Regret' Any Attack
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Washington on Thursday that Iran would make it regret any attack on the Islamic Republic.
A war of words has recently escalated between Tehran and Washington since U.S. President George W. Bush has accused Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, of being part of an "axis of evil" and amassing weapons of mass destruction.
"The Iranian nation will not initiate an attack because we believe that seeking hegemony is as bad as accepting it," Khamenei, whose powers include that of commander-in-chief of Iran's armed forces, told a gathering of air force officers.
"But whoever threatens the interests of the Iranian nation or attacks this nation, the answer of the Iranian nation will be harsh and make them regret," he said in remarks broadcast on Iranian state television.
U.S. officials have also accused Iran of providing shelter to Al Qaeda fighters fleeing from war torn Afghanistan and plotting to destabilize the new interim government in neighboring Afghanistan; charges Iran strongly denies.
However, the latest disagreement with the United States has strengthened the hand of conservatives against President Mohammad Khatami's reformers, who had tried to improve relations with Washington cut after revolutionaries seized U.S. diplomats in Tehran in 1980.
While accelerating the harsh rhetoric, the Islamic Republic of Iran is also urging European countries to drive a wedge between them and the United States.
"American leaders are complaining 'why does the Iranian nation hate us?'," said Khamenei. "It is not just the Iranian nation, but all nations all around the world which hate you, you are hated in Latin America, all over Asia and even in Europe." "Death to America, death to Israel," chanted the officers, kneeling before Khamenei at his Tehran headquarters.
"From the point of view of the United States, countries that totally obey them and follow their expansionist policies are good countries and acceptable," said Khamenei who succeeded Khomeini on his death in 1989. "Because the Iranian nation resisted and did not surrender to the big powers, now they are the enemy of the Iranian nation." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)