‘The gentlemen behind the negotiating table are those terrorists of Baghdad airport’

Leader: E3 cannot bring Iranian nation to its knees, as America could not

January 17, 2020 - 12:8

TEHRAN — Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the three European countries that are part of the nuclear deal cannot bring the Iranian nation to its knees.

“The three European countries showed that they are America’s lackeys. They will not be able to bring the Iranian nation to its knees,” Ayatollah Khamenei said while addressing worshippers during the Tehran Friday Prayers.

This is the first time in eight years that the Leader delivers a sermon at the Friday Prayers in Tehran’s Mosalla mosque, where huge crowds of worshipers have already gathered.

The last time Ayatollah Khamenei led Friday prayers at Mosalla mosque was in February 2012, on the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

“These three countries are the same three countries which, during the imposed war against us, helped Saddam Hussein as much as they could,” the Leader said.

“I said from the beginning, right after the U.S. withdrawal from Barjam (Iran nuclear deal) that these three countries, which only talk and talk … I said that I don’t trust them; that they won’t do anything; that they will serve the U.S.”

“Today, after nearly one year, it is clear that these are literally the lackeys of America,” he reiterated.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and imposed the harshest ever sanctions in history on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

The three European parties to the deal promised to fulfill their commitments to the deal and secure Iran’s economic benefits from it, but Iran argues that they have failed to do so.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, Tehran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and began to partially reduce its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly steps.

Finally, in its fifth and final step on January 5, Iran suspended all limits under the JCPOA.

Meanwhile, France, Britain, and Germany confirmed on Tuesday that they had triggered the dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal, but said they were not joining the United States campaign to exert maximum pressure on Tehran.

Leader: U.S. airbase destruction is a ‘Day of Allah’

In his sermon, Ayatollah Khamenei also said the knocking down of the U.S. airbase in Iraq should be considered a “Day of Allah (God)”.

He explained that Days of Allah are when societies, humans and ethnicities rid themselves of the oppressors.

The Leader’s remarks come two weeks after Trump ordered the drone strikes that martyred Lieutenant General Soleimani, chief of the IRGC’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), as well as eight other companions.

“This assassination was recorded as a scandal for the U.S. government … They martyred a person who was the most powerful commander in the fight against terrorism in the region,” said the Leader.The last two weeks were filled with adventures and were exceptional, the Leader said.

“Bitter adventures, sweet adventures and incidents happened that taught lessons to the Iranian nation,” he said.

“The day that 10 million people in Iran and hundreds of thousands in Iraq and some other countries took to the streets to appreciate the Quds Force commander’s blood and created the world’s greatest farewell is a Day of Allah,” Ayatollah Khamenei remarked.

He said such days make history. “They’re no ordinary days.”

Millions of mourners took to the streets in Ahwaz, Mashhad, Tehran, Qom, and Kerman – Soleimani’s hometown – to attend the top general’s funeral procession.

The burial ceremony was held on January 7 in Kerman, but it was postponed until later that night due to overcrowding and a stampede that killed tens of people and injured many more.

In the early hours of January 8, the IRGC attacked the U.S. airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq as part of its promised “tough revenge” for the assassination of General Soleimani.

“Our nation is a grateful nation and has been grateful over the years for divine blessings,” the Leader said.

The people saluted the soul of this martyr and burned the flags of the U.S. and Israel, he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the media empire of the Zionists tried in vain to accuse “our general of terrorism, but God Almighty made their plan backfire.”

“This assassination was recorded as a scandal for the U.S. government … They martyred a person who was the most powerful commander in the fight against terrorism in the region,” he added.

Gen. Soleimani assassination was cowardly, says Leader

Ayatollah Khamenei described the assassination of General Soleimani as a cowardly act that brought disgrace upon the United States.

“We should see Haj Qassem Soleimani as a school of thought and as a school of lessons in order for the significance of this matter to be clarified,” he noted.

The Leader described the IRGC Quds Force as a humane body with great and clear humanitarian motivations.

“They are present whenever they are needed and protect the dignity of the oppressed people and sacrifice themselves for the sanctities.”

“These forces put their lives on the line and go to the aid of regional nations … and this is what keeps war and terror away from our own homeland,” he added.

 ‘Attack on U.S. airbase was a effective blow to America’

He referred to Iran’s revenge for Soleimani’s assassination, saying, “This was a blow to America.”

“Of course, it was an effective military blow, but more importantly and higher than military blow, this was a blow to America’s grandeur as a superpower.”

“This blow cannot be repaired by anything,” he asserted.

Ayatollah Khamenei further said the U.S. has been receiving blows in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan for years.

Pointing to recent remarks by U.S. officials, the Leader said the Americans say they are with the Iranian people but they are lying.

“Even if they want to be with the nation, in fact it is because they want to thrust their dagger into the nation’s body,” he said.

Dialog with enemy is mixed with deceit, says Leader

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei ruled out the possibility of talks with the U.S., saying dialog with the enemy is mixed with chicanery and deceit.

“The gentlemen behind the negotiating table are those terrorists of the Baghdad airport,” he said, adding that the only path ahead of the Iranian nation is to become stronger.

“We do not fear negotiations, however, not with America. First, we must make ourselves stronger and rid our economy of oil,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei says enemies cheered over plane crash

Commenting on the recent downing of a Ukrainian plane by Iran’s military, the leader said, “The plane crash was a bitter incident. Losing Iranian youths and people is a bitter incident.”

“To the same extent we grieved over the plane incident, the enemies cheered.”

The passenger plane was shot down on the morning of January 8, nearly four hours after Iran fired dozens of missiles at the U.S. airbase in Iraq in retaliation for Soleimani’s assassination.

The Iranian military announced on January 11 morning that the plane had been mistaken for a cruise missile.

The late admittance of responsibility for the plane crash received widespread criticism both from within Iran and from other countries.

“There are ambiguities in the plane incident,” the Leader said. “We thank the commanders for explaining it to the people, but this issue must be pursued and reoccurrence of similar incidents must be prevented seriously.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also expressed sympathies with the bereaved families of victims of the incident and thanked them for standing up to the enemy’s conspiracy and speaking out against the enemy’s desire.

“One of the mothers of the victims sent me a letter, saying ‘we are standing by the Islamic Republic; we are standing by your motivations.’” 

“One feels a sense of reverence and respect for such characters,” the Leader added.

MH/PA

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