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Iran Document: Supreme Leader's Speech on "The Battle Within" & Talks With US

Over the last 48 hours, we have paid close attention to the Supreme Leader's speech to an audience from Tabriz, noting 1) its place in the "battle within"; especially the fight between President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani; and 2) its intervention on the nuclear issues and the question of direct talks with the US.

The text of the speech, translated by the US Government's Open Source Center, and posted by Juan Cole on his website:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate....

Let me say this to you, the American Government officials are unreasonable people. Their words are unreasonable; their actions are unreasonable, and repressive. They expect others to surrender to their unreasonable actions. Well, some do surrender. Some governments, some political elite in some countries, surrender to their audacity and bullying behaviour.

But the Iranian nation, the Islamic Republic is not going to surrender.

The Islamic Republic has something to say, has reason and logic, has capability, and has power. Hence, it won’t surrender to unreasonable words and unreasonable actions. Now in what way are they unreasonable? The sign of them being unreasonable is the contradictions between their words and their actions. They say one thing and do something else. Well, there is no clearer sign than this for unreasonableness. A reasonable person says something convincing and then follows their words with actions. These guys, the American Government officials and their other Western allies, are not like that. They say something, they make a claim, but in practice they do exactly the opposite.

Now I give you a few examples: They claim, “We are committed to human rights.” Yes, the Americans have ascended the human rights flag saying they are committed to human rights, not only in their own country, the US, but in the whole world. Well that is a claim. How about what they actually do? In practice, they inflict the most harm and insult upon the rights of people in various countries and nations.

They have hidden prisons throughout the world. They have the Guantanamo and Iraqi Abu Ghraib prisons. They attack civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other places. They use drones for espionage purposes, and to put people under pressure.

Every day, you hear news [on the use of the drones] in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These drones — as an American magazine published a few days ago — will cause them trouble. (People chanting: “God is great, Khamene’i is the leader, death to US, England, and Israel”)

They say that they are committed to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Their excuse to attack Iraq 11 years ago was the same. They said that Saddam’s regime was building nuclear weapons. They however went there and they did not find anything; and it became clear that it was a lie.

They say that they are committed to not allow the proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the same time, they defend and support a mischievous government [Israel] that holds nuclear weapons and threatens others with the use of its nuclear weapons, i.e. the Zionist regime. That is their word, and this is their practice.

They say that they are committed to spreading democracy in the world. This is their word. Let us not discuss here what sort of democracy America has.

With such a claim, the Americans constantly oppose the Islamic Republic, which enjoys the most vivid and evident democracy in the region. At the same time, with evident audacity, they support certain countries in the same region that do not know anything about the fragrance of democracy; and their people have never had the chance to vote or even see a ballot box. This is their commitment to supporting democracy. You can see the distance between their word and their deed.

They say that they want to settle their problems with Iran. This is what they have always been saying, and they say it more often these days. They say that they want to solve their problems with Iran. They want to talk (with Iran) and solve their problems. This is what they say, but in practice they resort to imposing sanctions (on Iran), lying and making inappropriate statements. They constantly publish false statements about the Islamic Republic state and the Iranian nation. A few days ago, the American President made a statement about Iran’s nuclear issues. He spoke as if the difference between Iran and America was that Iran wanted to build nuclear weapons, and he said that as far as they could, they would not allow Iran to build nuclear weapons.

If we really intended to build nuclear weapons, how could you prevent us? If Iran had decided to have nuclear weapons, America could by no means stop it. (People chanting: “God is great, Khamene’i is the leader, death to US, England, and Israel”)

We do not want to build nuclear weapons. Not because America would be upset if we do so. It is rather what we have decided. We believe that nuclear weapons are a crime against humanity and should not be built; and whatever weapons there are in the world should be destroyed. This is what we believe in; and this has got nothing to do with you [Americans].

If we did not have such a belief and had decided to build nuclear weapons, no power could have stopped us, as they could not stop other countries, such as India, Pakistan, and North Korea, from doing so. They opposed them; nevertheless they built their nuclear weapons.

They are somehow deceptive in saying that they would not allow Iran to build nuclear weapons. The discussion is not over nuclear weapons. Iran’s nuclear case is not about nuclear weapons. They rather want to prevent the Iranian nation from exercising its absolute and undeniable right, i.e. nuclear enrichment and the peaceful use of Iran’s domestic capabilities. You are however not able to do so. The Iranian nation will exercise its right.

As you see, the American statesmen are illogical and utter illogical statements. One cannot talk to an illogical individual on the basis of logic. The individual is illogical. Illogical means to be a bully and speak nonsense. This is a reality that we have clearly understood in the past 30 years by coming across various world affairs. We know who we are facing, and how we should behave toward him.

I have written down a few points that I want to highlight here for you, dear brothers and sisters, and the entire Iranian nation. Such statements are for the Iranian nation. When the American President and statesmen speak, they attempt to deceive the public opinion of the world or the nations in the region — and the Iranian public opinion if they succeed. We have nothing to do with the world public opinion for the time being. The media network affiliated to the Zionists and America do not broadcast our statements as they are. They do not broadcast our statements, or they broadcast them out of context or upside down.

I therefore talk to my own people. The power of the Islamic Republic has got nothing to do with world public opinion. The Islamic Republic has not gained its power, dignity, and honor from world public opinion. It has gained them from the Iranian nation. The strong structure created by the Iranian nation — and its message spread around the world on its own — relies on the Iranian people. I therefore talk to my own people. I do not care if others want to listen or not and whether they want to broadcast it or not. I however believe that our dear Iranian nation should know about it.

The first point is that they are illogical. They do not believe in what they say. Their word does not match their deed.

The second point is that the Americans have said that they want Iran to sit and negotiate with them. Their illogical behavior is also evident in their invitation to talks. They do not intend to solve problems; and I will explain about this later. Their intention is to have some propaganda. They want to show to Muslim nations that the Islamic Republic state — with all its steadfastness and resilience — was finally forced to sit at the negotiating table and accept compromise. They want to tell other nations that when the Iranian nation has to compromise, other nations will not have much option either. This is the message they want to send to Muslim nations around the world, which have started their movements. They need to do so to disappoint and silence those Muslim countries, which are today feeling the touch of the breeze of awakening, and have gained a sense of dignity because of Islam.

This was one of the main goals since the very first years of the revolution. Their aim was to bring Iran to the negotiating table to make a deal. They wanted to say that even Iran, which claimed to be independent, resilient, foolhardy, and brave, was finally forced to come to the negotiating table. They are following the same goal today. This is an important point. When their goal behind talks has got nothing to do with fundamental issues; and it is only to feed their propaganda machine, it is clear that their addressee — i.e. the Islamic Republic — would not out of naivety accept their call, as it understands what their goal is. Iran will therefore respond to your (Americans) call in line with your intention.

The third point is that in the norm of America and hegemonic powers, talk means that they want others to sit with them and accept what they say. They want others to sit and accept what they defied previously.

Right now, in the propaganda that they have started about talks with Iran, and you are probably hearing about it, the Americans say that they must have direct talks with Iran — and they ask what they should do, and they say that they should have direct talks — the same is evident in what they say today. [They say], "Let us sit to convince Iran to give up [uranium] enrichment and its nuclear energy." This is the objective. They do not say let us sit and talk so that Iran could present its facts and evidence, and (accordingly) drop our pressures on the nuclear issue exerted through sanctions, as well as security and political interference. This is not what they say. They say let us negotiate to force Iran to accept what we tell them. Such talks would be worthless. Such talks will lead nowhere. Let us assume that the Iranian government accepts to talk with the Americans and starts negotiating. When their aim is this, it is clear what one should expect to be the result of the talks. It is clear that Iran will not give up its rights.

Whenever during the talks they come across a logical statement by the other side — and they are unable to answer — they immediately stop the talks and say that Iran is not ready to talk. All news and political networks are under their control. They then start a propaganda campaign. We have already experienced this. In the past 10 to 15 years, the Americans had two or three times sent messages to our officials and insisted on having talks on particular topics. They stressed that the topic was urgent and they needed to talk to Iran about it.

One or two Iranian officers were sent for the talks. But immediately after the Iranian officers expressed a logical statement and they realized that they did not have an answer for it, they unilaterally stopped the talks. They however used the talks for their propaganda purposes. This is what we have already experienced. Experiencing what one has already experienced will lead to one’s regret. This was the third point.

The fourth point is that they claim in their propaganda that if Iran would sit at the negotiating table with the Americans, they would lift the sanctions. This is also a lie. By promising that they would remove the sanctions, they intend to create an urge in the Iranian nation to talk with America. They think that the Iranian nation is now desperate and fed up with the sanctions, and there is chaos here. As a result, we would accept having talks so that the sanctions would be lifted; and this would lead to a large turnout in the streets to call for talks. (People chant: “No compromise with America”)

This is again an illogical and deceptive statement [by the Americans] expressed with the aim to bully ([Iran]. Their objective — as we already said — of calling on us to talk is not to have a fair and logical negotiation. What they mean by talks is that they want us to accept whatever they say and to surrender, so that they would lift the sanctions. If the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation wanted to surrender, why did they then have a revolution? Well, America had control over Iran’s affairs, and did whatever it wanted. The Iranian nation had a revolution to be freed from America’s yoke. Now you expect them to sit and surrender to you again.

This is the first problem; the other problem is that sanctions will not be removed through talks. The objective behind sanctions is something else. The objective behind sanctions is to wear out the Iranian nation and isolate it from the Islamic state. If talks were held and the Iranian nation still insisted on its rights, the sanctions would continue.

What should the Iranian nation do in the face of the enemy’s erroneous thought? Our enemy has a concern. Let us analyze their concern. They (the Americans) say that the Islamic Republic relies on its people; therefore, if they could separate people from the state, the Islamic Republic would then be unable to resist. This is what the other side thinks.

This thought has got two parts. They are right in one part and wrong in the other. They are right to say that the Islamic Republic relies on people. The Islamic Republic relies on no one but the masses of people. The power of this country lies in its people. The part where they are wrong is that they think by the pressures of sanctions and by bullying us in terms of international trade and production, they can incapacitate the Iranian nation. They think that they can rob the Islamic Republic of such support.

The Iranian nation will seek wise solutions in the face of what the enemy intends to do. The Iranian nation is after economic development and all-embracing welfare. At the same time, the Iranian nation does not want to gain this through humility before the enemy. It only wants to gain this through its power, will, courage, progress, and the capability of its youth.

There is no doubt that sanctions are a (form of) pressure and harassment. There are two ways for Iran to counter such harassment. Weak nations surrender to the enemy, bow in humility, and repent when pressure builds up. But, a brave nation such as that of Iran would immediately attempt to activate its inner forces, and to walk through the danger zone powerfully and courageously, and this is what it will do. (People chanting: “God is great, Khamene’i is the leader, death to America, England and Israel”)

This is again the experience that we have had in the past 30 years. There are countries in our region which have been in America’s hands for 30 years. Their governments were America’s obedient servants and lackeys for over 30 years. Where are they now? The Iranian nation also resisted America for 30 years. Where is the Iranian nation today?

Our nation resisted 30 years of America’s pressures. In terms of scientific, economic, and cultural progress, as well as international dignity, and political influence and power, Iran has reached a degree that Pahlavi and Qajarid regimes — and their people and officials — could not even dream of. We have already experienced this. We resisted America’s pressures for 30 years and we have now reached this point.

There are also nations that were subservient to America for 30 years, and are still many stages behind us. Nothing negative has resulted from our resistance and steadfastness. Resistance invigorates the inner force of a nation. The sanctions imposed on Iran will come to the help of the Iranian nation, and this nation will with the grace of God reach growth and development. (People chanting indistinctly)

You were a witness to people’s glorious participation in this year’s demonstrations. One cannot claim that people are not concerned about high prices and other problems. There are economic problems and the prices are high; the people — especially the weaker classes — feel them. But this did not cause the people to distance themselves from the Islamic state. They know that the powerful hand that could address these problems is the Islamic state. The dear and strong Islam and the officials that abide by Islam are the ones that can solve the problems. Surrendering before the enemy will not solve any problem.

Contrary to them, our officials and people are logical. We accept logical statements and deeds. The Americans should show that they do not bully and act mischievously, are not illogical in their deeds and words, respect the Iranian nation’s rights, do not cause mayhem in the region, and do not interfere in the affairs of the Iranian nation as they did during the 1388 sedition [protests after the 2009 Presidential election]. They supported the seditionists. They put social networks at the service of the seditionists. A social network wanted to stop its work to do some maintenance. They asked it not to stop its work so that they could support the sedition. If they stop doing such things, they will realize that the Islamic Republic of Iran is after good, and the people are logical. This is the only way to interact with the Islamic Republic.

They should prove their good will. They should show that they do not intend to bully us. If they show this, then they will see that the Iranian nation will respond. If they want an appropriate response from Iran, they should refrain from mischief, interference, bullying; and they should recognize the Iranian nation’s rights.

Allow me also to mention a point about our country’s domestic affairs. This is also an important issue. An inappropriate issue happened in the Majlis. It upset the nation and the elite. I was also upset from two perspectives. I feel sorry for what happened on the one hand, and for the sorrow of the people on the other.

The head of a branch of power based on a charge — that was not raised or proved in a court — accused the two other branches of power. This was an inappropriate act. Such acts are against the Shari’ah, as well as the law and ethics. Such acts are also in violation of the basic rights of the nation. One of the basic rights of the people is to have psychological peace and security. Ethical security should prevail in the country. If someone is charged with corruption, one cannot accuse others for his acts, even if the charge is proven, let alone, when the charge has not been proven and no court has dealt with it. Based on charges levelled against an individual, one cannot accuse the Majlis or the Judiciary. This is not right. This is wrong. I am just advising you now that this is not an appropriate measure for the Islamic Republic state.

On the other hand, the Majlis made a mistake in impeaching the minister. Something good should be sought in impeachment. What is the reason behind impeaching a minister a few months before the end of the life of the government — for a reason that had nothing to do with that minister? This was also wrong. I also heard that in the Majles some used inappropriate language. This was also wrong. All such events — accusing others, the manner the individual (referring probably to President Ahmadinezhad) was treated and the impeachment — were incompatible with the Islamic Republic state.

The defense provided by the honorable head of the legislative branch was also a bit too much. There was no need for that. What should we do when we are all brothers, when we are faced with a joint enemy and when we see the plot? Up to now, the officials have always stood together against enemy’s plots. They should do the same now too. This is what should always happen. I have always defended the heads of branches of power and the officials of the country. I will still defend whoever shoulders a responsibility. I will help them. But, I do not like such acts. Such acts are not in line with the [officials’] commitments and oaths. They should take a look at this great nation. This nation deserves a different behavior. Officials should muster all their efforts today to unravel all economic knots and to address all problems.

A few years ago, in a speech at the beginning of the year, I explicitly told the people and the officials that the enemies planned — more than anything else — to cause economic problems for the Iranian nation. And you realized that the same happened. They — both the government and the Majlis — should concentrate all their efforts and thoughts on (introducing) correct economic policies.

A few years ago, I sent a letter to the heads of the branches of power on financial corruption. Well, you should fight against financial corruption. Paying lip service is not enough. You shiuld fight against corruption in practice. It is good to talk about financial corruption. But what has been done in practice. This is upsetting. I expect the officials to enhance their friendship at this time that enemies have intensified their (hostile) behavior. Be together more than before. (People chanting: “God is great, Khamene’i is the leader, death to America, England, and Israel”)

Observe piety, piety, piety, patience. Control your wild sentiments. Observe the country’s interests. Concentrate all your capabilities and forces on solving the country and the people’s problems. I hope that this good will advice will be taken on board by honorable officials, especially the high-ranking officials. I should also say that what I said today complaining against some high-ranking officials of the country should not prompt some individuals to turn out in the streets and chant slogans against this or that individual.

I am against such acts too. I should also explicitly say that I am against naming someone to be against velayat [clerical leadership], insight, and other things, and have a number of people turn out in the streets to chant slogans against him or to disrupt his session. I am against what happened in Qom [the disruption by Ahmadinejad supporters of a speech by Ali Larijani], and similar acts. I am against what happened in the Imam’s mausoleum.

I have time and again notified officials and those who can stop such acts (to take action). Those who are truly religious and pious should stop acting like this. You see that we have come to the conclusion that this is against the interests of the country. Such acts are not in our interest. Out of sentiments some turn out in the streets and chant against this and that individual. Such slogans do not help. Keep your sentiments and anger for when they are needed.

During the Sacred Defence [1980-88 Iran-Iraq war] if the Basijis [militia] wanted to go where they liked and attack the enemy as they wished the country would have been in chaos. Organisation, discipline, and respect are needed.

If you do not care about such things, then that is different. I ask those of you who are committed and believe that you should not act against the Shari’a law to be careful and not to take such actions.

However, because of God’s grace and guidance, the Iranian nation has turned out to be a wise one. I would like to promise to the dear youth that a day will come — when we are not there any more — when the Iranian nation will be in a much better material and spiritual status as compared to today.

The Iranian nation is moving toward the light. The horizon is bright. We should be a bit careful about ourselves, and we should seek the assistance of God and that of the martyrs and the pure soul of the Imam (Khomeini]. God willing the prayers of the Lord of the Age — may our soul be sacrificed for him — will include you and us.

Peace and blessings of God be upon you.

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