Following is the full text of the Leader's speech deliverd on Friday, January 16, at Tehran Friday Prayers sermons.

January 18, 1998 - 0:0
Today I want to discuss the issue (I had decided to discuss in the sermon two weeks ago, but due to bad weather I could not). There are new aspects of the same issue that is necessary to pursue. The issue is the ballyhoo and propaganda which has attracted the whole world's attention during the past two weeks, that is, a new news from Iran on the Iran-U.S. ties.

The American propaganda media and their followers employ a strange method to project a lie as a reality to cover the reality to reach their objective. Of course this propaganda wave began from abroad, but had its reflections inside. Those who are not committed to the revolution's principles and some pressmen unfortunately move in a way that the enemies of revolution, enemies of Iranian people, and elements subservient to America in the world move.

This is a matter of regret. The issue that they are concentrating on is that Iran wants to resume ties with the United States. They have projected this as a new news and are making hue and cry about it that is void of any reality. They pursue dangerous objectives that should be realized. We should realize these objectives even if we do not do anything against them.

We cannot remain silent and allow the enemy to do whatever it wants to do. It is necessary to recognize the enemies' objectives. Of course the correct matter have been uttered by certain persons. The issue has been discussed correctly in some press and by certain officials. But I find myself duty-bound to express my ideas on the issue and tell the truth to our people.

This is not the first time that such ballyhoo is created. After the departure of Imam Khomeini, they made hue and cry and the anti-revolution elements made certain claims aimed at bashing Imam's period. Fortunately they received the nation's strong slap on their face and prevented them from continuing their notorious activities. Today the ballyhoo is wider and has taken another shape.

The clue of these ballyhoo is outside the country. They are resorting to our president's recent interview. This is a great injustice to our nation and to our president. The truth that the propaganda machines try to keep away from our nation is really strange. I should say that what should have been said was said in the interview. I watched it with due attention.

All our principled stances were said as they should have been said. The president's elaboration on talks with the U.S., Israel, Palestinian warriors, and domestic issues were very good. I have prayed for him, for the foreign minister and some others. Of course there are issues which are matter of taste and are not important. But the principle issues were elaborated upon very well.

If the enemy does not allow the matters that are against it to be disseminated, it is because of its animosity. We cannot expect the enemy anything other than this. I will first describe the aim of the enemies for making hue and cry in this regard. I will tell you what the aim of enemy is in saying that Iran wants to negotiate with the U.S. It is an established fact that they are not benevolent towards Iran. During the past 19 years the U.S. media have spared no effort to slander about Iran, spread rumors and lies, backbite, deal blow on Iran and betray Iran. During the eight years of war they did not take side with us even on a single issue.

Today also nothing has changed, they want to deal a blow on us (the worshippers chanted death to America). What is the aim of this ballyhoo. There are several objectives. I would like you, specially the youth, to pay attention. These are important issues. A nation makes its destiny in such occasions which at the surface deem rather not important. If we do not understand the truth of the matter, then a slightest perversion might annihilate everything.

What is their aim? What is the aim of U.S. imperialistic media in saying that Iran wants to negotiate with America? They have several objectives: firstly, they want to change the cause of unity in Iran to a cause of disunity. You have witnessed that from the beginning till now what has encouraged the Iranian nation to make sacrifices for the revolution, has been opposition to and campaign against America. They want to change this factor into a cause of disunity.

Even if they had differences among themselves, the Iranian nation used to put aside differences and got united against the U.S. Campaign against the U.S. has been one of the factors of unity in Iran. They want to employ the same factor as a cause of disunity, saying this group is against that group and so on. One group may advocate negotiations with America, another group may oppose it.

With the repetition of these words, they want to change the unity to disunity. Through repeating that Iran wants to hold talks with the U.S., they want to transform the issue of having relations with the U.S. one of the most disgraceful phenomena in Iran due to rational reasons to a normal issue. This is what they did with the Arabs with regard to Israel. You remember that once the Arabs considered it very bad even to name Israel. But they gradually prepared the ground so that its disgrace was shed.

Today even countries that have nothing to do with Israel speak about relations with Israel. They are not neighbors of Israel and Israel does not pose any threat to them, but they speak about talks with Israel. Due to strong, rational reasons, the Iranian nation considers America its enemy. And other countries respect Iran for this stance. Now they are trying to shed the disgrace of this matter and change it into an ordinary issue.

The issue of Iran's opposition to the U.S. is very important for the United States. It might be perceived that it is a superpower. How can Iran be important for a superpower. Exactly, because it is a superpower, it is important for it to have relations with Iran. Superpower means a power which is stronger than all other political powers, a power that can impose its sphere of influence on others.

In the past there were two superpowers in the world. The U.S. and the Soviet Union had two spheres of influence and decided what to do. In the past U.S. had deployed its missile in Europe, and the European countries had no other means to face the enemy. Soviet Union too followed the same policy in its sphere of influence. Today the Soviet Union has disintegrated and the U.S. tries to establish its unipolar world order in the world.

The U.S. officials have confessed to this doctrine. A well known American writer wrote in an article that there is no problem if a worldwide empire is established with U.S. as its leader. Such a great power sees that there is a country that does not have any respect for this power, that country is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian nation has daunted the prestige of America in the world.

America and some other powers solve their problems with their prestige. Hence if this prestige is daunted, it is very crucial for them. The Iranian nation from the very beginning has said that it would not negotiate with the U.S. and will not surrender to its pressures. If we accept to negotiate with them, they would say, come on, the superpowership became complete and the region that used to reject to surrender, submitted.

Negotiations for them is very important. I am not talking about relations. Once the talks begin, the resumption of ties will have its own stories Why are negotiations important for America? Because the Islamic movement in Iran revitalized Islamic sentiments throughout the world, in Asia, Africa, and even in Europe the Muslims launched a campaign in the name of Islam. All these have descended from one peak, i.e., that of Imam and Islamic Revolution. I know several persons who became followers of the infallible Household of the Holy Prophet (S) after watching scenes from (the imposed-Iraqi) war.

When the news of the presence of our youth in the war fronts and the backing of courageous mothers of them spread throughout the world, a number of people embraced Islam. Some Muslims embraced Shiism and many became found of Imam and the Revolution. The heart of these people beat for Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran. If Iran sits at the negotiation table with the United States, the Americans will feel comfort.

The Americans would tell them what are you trying for? What will you have to say? You will not match Iran whatever you might be, you will never be as powerful as Iran, the U.S. would say. You have witnessed that Iran finally sat at the negotiating table. That is, with Iran agreeing to sit at the negotiation table, the U.S. will heave a sigh of relief about many Islamic struggles in the world.

I will touch on another issue that should be discussed in detail elsewhere. There are a number of governments who are subservient to the U.S. They obey U.S. orders as to with whom should they hold relations and with whom they should not. They submit to America on what to do with oil, copper and so on. Gradually they have realized that Iran does not heed U.S. and the U.S. cannot inflict any serious damage to it.

What is the reason that we should fear the U.S.? ask the leaders of the Third World and Islamic countries. This is a serious question which has created serious problems for the U.S. today. It is because of the Islamic Republic that we do not surrender to the U.S. and the U.S. cannot take any action against us. Sometimes they pass a bill like the D'Amato law and after sometimes it is automatically abrogated.

Why should then we become captive of America? This mentality is very dangerous for the U.S. It fears that this mentality penetrate in its allies and friends. Hence, it is trying to find and answer to convince them that the economic sanctions and pressures brought the Islamic Republic to its knees. The U.S. is determined to tell them that if some one is not with it, it cannot remain safe.