Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader stated on Sunday that the Islamic Republic would continue its jihad until America is no more. The usually reclusive leader also said that his country’s illicit nuclear program is back on track, and that all negotiations with international mediators were off the table.
Speaking in a meeting consisting of members of the Iranian parliament, the influential leader set a combative tone, and said that an aggressive mode was necessary if the Iranian regime wanted to achieve its higher Islamic platform against the “oppressor’s front.” Khamenei focused his jihad against a world “…full of thieves and plunderers of human honor, dignity and morality, who are equipped with knowledge, wealth and power, and under the pretence of humanity easily commit crimes and betray human ideals and start wars in different parts of the world.”
The supreme leader has famously called America “the devil incarnate [with plans for] evil domination of Iran.” Continuing with the same line of thought, the most powerful man in Iran said that the reasons for jihad was based on simple logic and reason, which demand that Iran arm itself so as defend itself against a “region full of pirates.” When asked how long this battle of honor would continue, the regime’s Fars News Agency reports that Khamenei said that wars like the jihad against America are endless and will continue until such evil is no more. He predicted that this struggle is likely to be long and difficult.
Khamenei also brought up Iran’s recent advances in the field of nuclear science and technology. Vehemently insisting that the republic’s strides towards becoming a nuclear power would not be crippled by international interference, the leader said, “Those (Iranians) who want to promote negotiation and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason.”
Khamenei’s contentious position is hardly surprising, given the recent obstructions set up by the Iranians against a deal that was being negotiated by the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, along with Germany (P5+1). The abrupt halt occurred on May 19, when the Iranian contingent presented a new set of “red lines” at the fourth round of negotiations in Geneva. Any hopes of curbing Iranian nuclear ambition came to a crashing halt as the country shifted the markers set up by the Obama administration during an interim agreement that had been reached last November in Geneva.
The earlier compromise had been called a “historic nuclear deal.” Under it’s terms, Iran was required to limit uranium enrichment activity to 5 percent with a current stockpile of over 10 tons, while converting about 20 percent of its enriched stock to harmless material. Besides enrichment concessions, Iran had to open up its nuclear facilities for in-depth inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In return, Iran was to receive billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
While the Obama administration and the P5+1 were hoping that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif would be willing to further the terms of the interim agreement and reach a mutually satisfactory solution, it was not to be. Instead, the Iranian delegation presented a new set of demands that included plans for expanding the country’s nuclear research and development program, the intention of further nuclear material enrichment, and the retention of their ballistic missile program, in spite of U.N. sanctions. Additionally, the Iranian government has yet to deliver on the terms set up by IAEA officials, which required their Iranian counterparts to release information about the country’s nuclear program by May 15.
Keeping in line with their new demands, Khamenei’s position that the jihad against America will continue till the country is no more, has set up worrying hurdles for the Obama administration, the U.N. Security Council and the IAEA. The governing bodies are yet to respond to the new parameters set up by Iran.
By Monalisa Gangopadhyay