Archive for the ‘Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’ Category

Iran’s supreme leader dismisses Obama overtures

March 21, 2009

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed overtures from President Barak Obama on Saturday, saying Tehran does not see any change in U.S. policy under its new administration.

Khamenei’s comments were the first top level reaction to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year.

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, ... 
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, Iran, in this Friday March 14, 2008 file photo. Khamenei has dismissed overtures from U.S. President Barak Obama Saturday March 21, 2009, saying Tehran doesn’t see any change in American policy toward its government.(AP photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)

Khamenei holds the last word on major policy decisions, and how Iran ultimately responds to any concrete U.S. effort to engage the country will depend largely on his say.

In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for improved ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings “real changes” in foreign policy.

“They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change,” Khamenei said in his speech, which was broadcast live on state television.

In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran and improve decades of strained relations, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community “cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.”

Speaking to tens of thousands of people in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
321/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_obama

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Iran Boasts of Nuclear, Space Progress Despite Sanctions

February 7, 2009

Iran has achieved breakthroughs in nuclear and space technology despite international sanctions against it, the country’s top leader said Saturday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told military commanders that instead of weakening Iran, sanctions by the U.S., the U.N. and others have forced it to become more self-reliant, leading to greater strides by Iranian scientists and to technological advancements unseen in the country’s history.

Iranian leaders often boast of technological progress as they seek to assure their people that sanctions and isolation have not hurt the country, even as unemployment and inflation increase.

Most recently, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Tuesday the launch of Iran’s first domestically produced satellite. He faces a tough re-election battle this year, not least because of the economic woes brought on by falling oil prices and sanctions.

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

The United States imposed sanctions against Iran soon after its 1979 Islamic revolution, which toppled the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought hard-line clerics to power. The sanctions banned the export of any dual-use technology, including nuclear, space and missile equipment. Over the years, Washington has tightened sanctions against any investment in Iran.

Since 2006, Iran has also been under U.N. Security Council sanctions, applied to its nuclear and missile industries, for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants or the material for atomic bombs.

The United States and some of its allies have accused Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charge, saying its nuclear program is geared towards generating electricity, not weapons production.

Vice President Joe Biden told a security conference in Germany that the U.S. was willing to talk to Iran but would act to isolate and pressure the country if it does not scrap parts of its nuclear program.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009020
7/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_sanctions_1

Iran Cleric Tells All Muslims To Rise Up Against Isreal; Tumult in Mideast

December 28, 2008

Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a religious decree to Muslims around the world on Sunday, ordering them to defend Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks “in any way possible”, state television reported.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also declared Monday a day of public mourning in Iran after Israel killed more than 280 Palestinians in two days of air strikes on Gaza.

“All Palestinian combatants and all the Islamic world’s pious people are obliged to defend the defenceless women, children and people in Gaza in any way possible,” Khamenei said.

“Whoever is killed in this legitimate defence, is considered a martyr,” he said in a statement.

A religious decree is an official statement by a ranking religious leader that commands Muslims to carry out its message. While there is no religious and legal force behind it, Khamenei is respected by many Iranian and non-Iranian Shi’ites.

Iran refuses to recognise Israel, which accuses Tehran of supplying Hamas Islamists with weapons. Iran denies the claim, saying it only provides moral support to the group.

Israeli leaders said their campaign was a response to almost daily rocket and mortar fire by Gaza militants that intensified after Hamas ended a six-month ceasefire a week ago.

Khamenei criticised some Arab governments for their lack of response towards the Israeli raids.

Related:
Israel Sees Existential Fight: Enemies, Uncertainty All Around

Read the rest from Reuters:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKHO
S84274820081228?sp=true
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The uproar is strong, but analysts say it’s unlikely to destabilize pro-U.S. governments in the region.
By Borzou Daragahi
The Los Angeles Times
December 28, 2008
Reporting from Beirut — Angry demonstrations broke out across the Arab world Saturday and diplomats in the region called for emergency measures in the aftermath of Israel’s deadly air attacks against Hamas security strongholds in the Gaza Strip.

But few expect the uproar to do more than reinforce regional trends: Pro-U.S. Arab governments continue to alienate large portions of their populations despite statements of protest against Israel, analysts said, while Iran and Syria score propaganda points for their continuing patronage of Islamic militant groups such as Hamas that fight Israel.

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http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/
la-fg-gaza-arab-react28-2008dec28,0,577761
3.story?track=rss

Uproar 
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Above: UPROAR: Supporters of Hamas protest in Damascus, Syria. “The reaction of the Arab street shows that the Palestinian issue is not just about Palestinians,” one analyst says.  Photo: Bassem Tellawi / Associated Press