Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran will raze Tel Aviv to the ground if Israel launches a military strike against the Islamic Republic. “Israel’s leaders sometimes threaten Iran, but they know that if they do a damn thing, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and [the occupied city of] Haifa to the ground,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on Thursday in an address to large crowds of people in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad on the occasion of Nowruz (Iranian new year). The Leader pointed out that the enemy seeks to create hurdles through sanctions and threats and downplay Iran’s achievements through propaganda, as its two major strategies against the Iranian nation.
“The center of conspiracy and the basis of hostility with the Iranian nation is the US government,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.The Leader pointed to the effects of the West’s embargoes against Iran over its nuclear energy program, saying, “Besides the negative effects of the sanctions, a highly positive impact also took place and the huge potential of the Iranian nation was activated and the talents of the youths of our country flourished." “Thanks to the sanctions, the Iranian nation embarked on enormous activities and massive infrastructural works were done in the year 1391 [Persian calendar year].” The Leader alluded to the repeated offers of direct talks with the Islamic Republic by the United States and said, “Through different ways and messages, the Americans try to negotiate with us on the nuclear issue, but I am not optimistic about these talks.” “I am not opposed to talks with regard to the nuclear issue, but certain issues must be clarified,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. The Leader pointed to the US claim that they intend to be honest in their talks with Iran and noted, “We have repeatedly asserted that we do not seek nuclear weapons but you do not believe this honest word; why should we accept your word?”
“Negotiation is an American tactic for deceiving the public opinion and if it is otherwise the Americans should prove it,” the Leader said.Touching on Iran’s comprehensive negotiations with the P5+1 (permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), Ayatollah Khamenei said that Washington does not want the talks to come to a conclusion, adding, “With regard to the nuclear issue, Iran only wants the recognition of its rights to enrichment.” The Leader noted that the US seeks to prolong the course of the negotiations in an attempt to “paralyze” the Iranian nation and said, “Iran will never be crippled and if the Americans want the issue to be over, there is one simple solution which is the US should put aside its enmity with the Iranian nation.” Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to Iran’s 11th presidential election in June and called for a high turnout in the poll in a bid to disappoint the enemies and ensure national security. The Leader underscored the importance of participation of various political spectrums in the election and noted, “All the [political] views and factions that believe in the Islamic Republic should participate; this is both a right and obligation, as election in the Islamic Republic is not for a specific political view and faction.” ASH/MA