Cleric dismisses EU sanctions on Iranian officials

March 5, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Tehran Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami has welcomed a decision by the European Union in imposing sanctions against 80 Iranian officials for alleged human rights abuses against Iranian citizens, saying Iranian officials are proud of being detested by the arrogant powers.

“The EU has placed the names of 80 Iranian figures including me in the list of sanctions… I am proud of being hated by the arrogant powers,” he told a gathering of well-wishers on Friday.
“After my sermons, they call me an extremist Iranian cleric. If extremism means moving in the path of Islam and velayat-e faqih (rule by the supreme jurisprudent), I am proud of that,” he said.
“If I deliver a sermon and the media outlets of the arrogant powers don’t attack me, I am not satisfied,” he said, adding many figures not mentioned in the list have said that they wished they had been included in the list because it is a source of pride and honor to be targeted by arrogant powers.
The cleric also revealed that British Ambassador to Tehran Simon Gass had requested to meet him twice last summer, but he declined the requests.
“Each time I rejected (his request) and it was a slap in his face because he sought to entice me. But the global arrogance (forces of imperialism) should know that the children of Islam and Imam Khomeini are incorruptible, and also will not be frightened by making threats,” he stated.
He went on to say that the sanctions have another message which is the EU supports the seditionists, because all sanctioned figures had taken stances against the leaders of sedition.
Clear message
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmad Khatami commented on the ongoing political developments in the Middle East and North Africa, saying these uprisings have a clear message.
“The clear message of these uprisings is that the regional people want Islam, independence and democracy,” the cleric noted.
The current revolutions are the continuation of the Islamic Revolution, and that is why the arrogant powers are trying to undermine the Islamic Revolution which has inspired the popular movements.
Iran is currently one of the safest and calmest countries in the region, but the arrogant powers are trying to depict Iran as an unstable country through sending a number of counter-revolutionaries to the streets, he said.
The cleric pointed to the developments in Libya and blamed the Western countries for supporting the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi for years.
He also warned the European countries and the United States against any military intervention in Libya and said any intervention will plunge the United States deeper into the quagmire and the Libyan people “will slap the occupiers in the face.”