Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to the stage last week to proclaim the U.S. has “given up” on using military force to stop its ambitions and to boast that a worldwide “Islamic Awakening” cannot be stopped.
Speaking on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic who died in 1989, Khamenei issued his first public reaction since U.S. President Barack Obama asserted in a foreign policy speech at West Point that his diplomatic relations with Iran were proving more effective than the threat of military action.
Obama had said that a U.S.-led international coalition has afforded “an opportunity to resolve our differences peacefully” with Iran and, “For the first time in a decade, we have a very real chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement – one that is more effective and durable than what would be achieved through the use of force.”
Khamenei, however, took away a very different conclusion from the negotiation table.
Speaking from a stage decorated with a banner proclaiming “America cannot do a d— thing,” according to a New York Times Report, Khamenei proclaimed on June 4 the U.S. has “given up” on military action.
“They have renounced the idea of any military actions,” the leader said. “They have understood that in Afghanistan and Iraq, after a military invasion, they were harmed. Therefore, it can be said that they have given up on the military attack.
“They realized that military attacks are as dangerous or even more dangerous for the assaulting country as they are for the country attacked,” he continued.
Khamenei also used the occasion to predict the global spread of Islam.
“Perhaps Western intelligence organizations give reports that they were able to suppress the Islamic Awakening in our region,” he said, according to an Al-Monitor report. “This will be another one of our enemy’s strategic mistakes and incorrect analyses. It’s possible that in some parts of the world the Islamic Awakening will be suppressed, but undoubtedly, it will not be uprooted – and it will spread.”
Al-Monitor reports that when protests began in the Middle East and North Africa, they were widely dubbed the “Arab Spring.” Many Iranian officials however, viewed them as a continuation of the 1979 Iranian revolution, thus giving them the name “Islamic Awakening.”
In his West Point speech at the end of May, Obama declared the U.S. still reserves “all options to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” but he also talked repeatedly about America’s “costly wars” and warned, “Not every problem has a military solution.”
“Some of our costly mistakes came … from our willingness to rush into military adventures,” he declared. “U.S. military action cannot be the only or even primary component of our leadership.”