Khamenei Comments on US, ISIS

In June 2017, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned U.S. policy towards Iran and the region in two speeches and a meeting. He also mocked President Donald Trump and his administration. “The new White House leaders are like nascent hooligans who scare people by brandishing their knives until somebody punches them in the mouth and puts them in their place,” he said in a June 18 address to families of fallen soldiers and police. “Don’t take all the huff and puff of the newcomer in the U.S. seriously. The U.S. has always wanted to overthrow the Islamic establishment in Iran,” Khamenei added. He seemed to reference Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s June 14 remarks implying that Washington supports regime change in Tehran.

Khamenei also reiterated his accusation that Washington created ISIS, also known as ISIL or by the Arabic acronym Daesh.


In a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, he warned against trusting the United States. “U.S. forces should be prevented from intervening in Iraq on the pretext of education or other issues,” Khamenei told Abadi. The following are excerpted remarks by Khamenei on the United States, ISIS, Iran’s economy, and other key issues.


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei


The United States and the West

“Don’t take all the huff and puff of the newcomer in the U.S. seriously. The U.S. has always wanted to overthrow the Islamic establishment in Iran.”

“Our revolution faced big enemies from the start.”

“The only thing that has changed, is the tone of the speech. We have always faced the huff and puff since the early days of the revolution-for nearly 40 years now! They couldn’t do anything then, when the newly born revolution was a small seedling in the ground. They surely can’t cut it down now, since it has grown into this strong fruitful tree!”

“The American rulers do not know the Iranian nation.”

“The new White House leaders are like nascent hooligans who scare people by brandishing their knives until somebody punches them in the mouth and puts them in their place.”

“You say you want to change the Islamic Republic? You have always wanted to overthrow the system; and you always failed with everything backfiring on you, and of course that won’t change!”

“You see that since the outset of the revolution, these people who wished elimination of the Islamic Republic are now in the abyss of Hell and have left this world without having achieved their goal.”

“Everybody must know this; both the enemy must know this and devout friends, [and even] those friends who are sometimes overcome by doubt [must know this]. The Islamic Republic is standing fast and know that they [enemies] cannot slap us in the face, but we will slap them in the face.”

June 18, 2017, in a meeting with families of martyrs of the Iranian Army, IRGC, and Police via and PressTV


June 21, 2017, in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi

In the present time too, as you witness, the Americans increased sanctions with complete shamelessness after our elections. Besides, they are beating the drums of opposition, fighting, hostility and the like harder than ever. This is how things are. A new atmosphere should be created considering the enmities, the circumstances, the needs and the long-term goals that are ahead of us. Everyone has a share in creating this atmosphere – the atmosphere of cooperation, of work and of endeavor for achieving our mutual goal which is the progress of the country and the Islamic Republic. We should be able to approach the goals of the holy Islamic Republic step by step. These are goals that have existed in the slogans of the Islamic Republic from the beginning. They exist in the present time as well. We should approach these goals.

This requires effort from everyone. If all of us try hard, we can stand firm, show resistance and bring the enemies to their knees. This will happen if all of us stay together. This is my eternal word of advice. Today, I would like to mention it again. Everyone should help the officials of the country. everyone should cooperate so that they can work. The officials of the country too should be on the people's side in the real sense of the word. Officials in different branches should cooperate with one another as well. My method has always been supporting all the administrations that have held office. Today too, I will support the administration. From now on too, I will continue to do the same as long as I live, God willing.

What I meant is that our national interests should not be influenced by policies of foreigners. It is we ourselves that should define national interests. There should not be any imposition in this regard.

Of course, arrogant powers are not sitting idle. They use different methods to impose their demands. They sit and define certain things as international norms. The US defines certain things as international norms. For example, it says, "US interests should be observed everywhere in the world." This becomes an international norm. If the interests of someone in a remote area in the world – which is thousands of kilometers away from the US – are in conflict with the US and if he wishes to ensure his own interests, the Americans say that he has acted against international norms. First of all, they define certain things as norms and after that, they accuse nations, countries and governments of being abnormal. They say this when the norms of those nations and countries are in conflict with the ones that they have defined. This is wrong. However, it is what they are doing in the present time.

For example, among the American claims against us, there is the issue of the destabilization of the region. This has become a new claim: the destabilization of the region! First of all, what does the region have to do with you? Second, it is you who are destabilizing the region! It is the US and the US agents who have destabilized the region. They have destabilized North Africa, West Asia, Syria and Iraq in different ways. Destabilizing the region means funding and creating a terrorist group, giving weapons to it, reinforcing and drawing military plans for it and curing its injured individuals in hospitals.

Another thing which is part of our main experiences and which you managers of the country – wherever you are - should pay attention to is the issue of lack of trust in the enemy and in his promises. This is a serious statement. This is a serious issue. We trusted the enemy in certain areas and we received a blow because of it despite the fact that we could avoid trusting him. Although we did not think that we would trust him, we did so. Trusting the enemy and his promises hurts us. If we reject this idea completely and say, "It is unlikely that the things that they have said will not happen" this is wrong. When it is a matter of working with foreigners, we should focus on all details with utmost care and we should be obsessive and cautious in this regard. They should not be trusted.

We should neither trust them in words nor in action. I should add that apart from the high-ranking officials of the country – the heads of the three branches of government and the like - some of you honorable gentlemen who are present in this meeting and different other individuals are articulate speakers. These individuals take the minbar – I would like to use the word “minbar” instead of “podium”- they take the minbar and they can deliver eloquent speeches. The people listen to them. Even these individuals should speak in a way that their words are not construed as trust in the enemy. This exerts a negative influence on the mentality of the people inside the country.

Besides, its repercussions will affect our opponents and enemies outside the country. Sometimes, we have compromised our principles with the purpose of taking away every excuse from the Americans and the enemy, but they did continue to have excuses and we lost something on those occasions. So, the enemy should not be trusted on any issue.

Basically, many of our issues with America are not solvable. The reason is that America’s problem with us is us, the Islamic Republic! The problem is this. The problem is neither nuclear energy nor human rights. The problem of the US is the essence of the Islamic Republic. That a government and a political system comes into being in an important country like Iran and in a rich land called Iran which takes no heed of the yeas and nays of a power like the US and which says yes and no whenever it likes is very difficult for them to tolerate. They are opposed to this. They are against this. How do you want to “resolve” this opposition? Therefore, our problems with the US are insolvable. Their problem is with the essence of the Islamic Republic itself.

I will tell you that apart from the Islamic Republic, they have a problem with the independence of the country as well. Even if a government other than the Islamic Republic existed in Iran and if that government wanted to be independent, they would have a problem with it as well.

  1. experience of the National Movement is in front of our eyes. In the National Movement, Dr. Mosaddeq trusted, even admired, the Americans, but he was not willing to rely on them. Of course, he had a bad relationship with the English. He wanted to achieve independence, but the person who made the coup d'état against Dr. Mosaddeq was not an Englishman, rather he was an American [Kermit Roosevelt] and behind him, there was the American CIA and they were more involved than the intelligence service of England. The US is like this.

This means that they could not even get along with a government and system which was not religious at all. The National Movement was not a revolutionary movement. It was only after the independence of the country from the yoke of the English. The National Movement thought that the Americans would help it. So, they are opposed to the independence of the country.

There is a great source of wealth in this country. Besides, our country enjoys extraordinary manpower. This country is an attractive country. The countries which tend to loot the resources of other countries are not willing to let go of such a delicious morsel unless we prevent them from swallowing it. Of course, we will prevent them from swallowing it! The Islamic Revolution will prevent them from doing so. Therefore, the claims that they make are mere excuses. Human rights is an excuse, the issue of the destabilization of the region – which has recently been highlighted in the slogans of the Americans – is an excuse, terrorism is an excuse and so are the other statements that they make.

They themselves are terrorists and creators of terrorists. They support a country like the Zionist regime which is the brain and mother of terrorism. That regime was born with terrorism. It was born with massacre and with oppression. The Americans are the supporters of such a regime. Therefore, all these claims are just an excuse. Their problem is that they are not on good terms with the Islamic government. So, we cannot get along with the US. Ambiguous and equivocal statements which might be manipulated by some individuals should not be made. We should speak with clarity and candor.

The Americans themselves should know that the Islamic Republic will not compromise on its main positions. We will not stop fighting against oppression, we will not stop defending Palestine and we will not stop fighting for the sake of asserting our own rights. We are a live nation and the Revolution is fortunately alive and young. They were waiting for the Revolution to grow old. We grow old, but the Revolution does not!

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan



Who created DAESH? Who strengthened it? Today, they [Americans] claim that they have established the anti-DAESH coalition. This is a lie. This coalition is a lie! Of course, they are opposed to an uncontrolled DAESH, but they like to have a controlled DAESH in their hands and if someone decides to destroy and annihilate this phenomenon, they will seriously stand up against him. As you see, in the present time, the American planes bombard the Syrian forces which are faced with DAESH and groups similar to it.

The same thing has happened in Iraq. It was DAESH which was selling Iraq's oil. A government official – a well-known international personality who was our guest once – said to me that the Americans completely knew about DAESH trucks which were stealing oil from Iraq, taking it to another country and selling it there, but they did not drop one single bomb on them! They never prevented them from doing so! This was being done in front of their eyes, but they claimed that they were against DAESH. However, if they are really opposed to someone, they do not support him like this. But they helped DAESH. Well, it is these people who have created instability in the region, not Iran.

They say certain things about Iran. An example is the recent statement by the American president. Because of the recent terrorist incidents, he accuses Iran of supporting terrorism! That is while terrorism in the region has its roots in the Americans. The same is true of the issue of human rights. The Americans are highlighting the issue of human rights again. This is really ridiculous and surprising! The people who sit beside the heads of medieval and tribal Saudi Arabia – this is really a scandal which in my opinion will never be erased from the history of the Americans: this is like a permanent mark on their foreheads – speak against the Islamic Republic on the issue of human rights. They go to a country which knows nothing whatsoever about democracy, elections and the like and they make ironic statements against a country like Iran which is the center and embodiment of democracy! They accuse it of violating human rights! These are things which will be preserved in history. Of course, such events might be forgotten today because of various kinds of political uproar and tumult, but they will undoubtedly remain in history.

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan


"In Iraq, they wanted to reach the borders of the Islamic Republic, they were pushed away, and they were hit hard; now they're becoming completely depreciated and swept away. In Syria, if the work done by our valued commanders had not been carried out, we now had to fight very close to home."

"An important part of today's security is greatly owed to the Defenders of Holy Shrines'; another reason for our security is due in great part to our Border Guards. Our Border Guards and martyrs must be given the attention they deserve."

"The people must acknowledge their [Defenders and Border Security] great service to them [the people]. Service is not just providing water and bread; above all, it is security."

June 18, 2017, in a meeting with families of martyrs of the Iranian Army, IRGC, and Police via and PressTV


The Nuclear Deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or Bar-Jaam)

I have said frequently that I had and continue to have trust in the officials who were in charge of the Bar-Jaam [JCPOA]. I trust them in the present time as well. I consider them to be insiders. I consider them as pious individuals who are interested in the system. However, on the issue of the Bar-Jaam, we compromised certain things in many cases because of trusting what the other side – the people who were negotiating with us – had said. Because of this trust, we did not focus on certain points and as a result, some rifts were created. The enemy is using the same rifts now. These are really important issues.

Our honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs – Dr. Zarif – wrote an articulate letter to a European official – of course, he has written such letters several times now – listing the violations that have been committed in the soul and body of the Bar-Jaam. Sometimes, they say that the soul of the Bar-Jaam has been violated, but he explained that it is not only the soul of the Bar-Jaam that has been violated. In some areas, the Bar-Jaam itself – its body – has been violated by the Americans as well. He prepared a list of these violations and sent them to the Europeans. He is not an opponent of the Bar-Jaam and therefore, they cannot say that he has done so because he is an opponent. This is not the case. The honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs has lodged this objection because he is a pious, conscientious and responsible person. This is because a mistake has been made on our part. If this mistake had not been made and if the enemy had not been trusted, the enemy would have found all ways to be blocked and he would not have been able to do this.

In the present time, we do not want to argue over the issue of the Bar-Jaam, but the group of people who have been specified to supervise the Bar-Jaam – including the honorable President, the esteemed Speaker of the Majlis, the honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and some other individuals – should really be careful about this issue. They should be careful and take the necessary precautions to see what is happening. After all, we specified certain conditions. When endorsing the Bar-Jaam, I specified certain conditions with complete clarity and I sent a written – not a verbal – account of it. These conditions should be met.

They should be observed in a meticulous manner. When the other side says something with complete brazenness, if we bow down to him, it will be considered as weakness. It will be considered as a desperate measure and lack of options. This feeling of being desperate encourages the enemy to increase his pressures on us. This is one issue.

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan


The Economy

Another issue which is very important as well is the issue of the economy of the country. We have discussed this issue at length already. In his speech, Mr. President explained the issue of the economy in detail and he spoke about the tasks that should be carried out. In his speech, he said that such and such things should be carried out. Who is addressee of these “shoulds”? He himself! The addressee of these shoulds is no one but Dr. Rouhani and his team in the 12th administration [audience laughs]. Most of these tasks are related to executive officials themselves. Of course, part of them might be related to the Majlis, to the judiciary branch and to other organizations, but the majority of them are executive tasks. It is they who should carry them out. These are realities. The issue of the economy is very important.

One issue related to the economy is domestic production which is very important. Mr. President pointed to the issue of capital. He is right and we agree with this. Of course, five, six years ago, I addressed the issue of our need for domestic and foreign capital in a meeting which was held on the upper floor. Many of you were present in that meeting and there were economists as well. In that meeting, I said that we need such and such an amount of money only for the area of oil and such and such an amount of money for different areas of the country. These are needs that exist and that should be met.

There is a subtle point, though. Sometimes, our friends in the economic divisions of the administration – whether this administration or the previous administration - take things very hard when it comes to creating employment. Sometimes, it is said that a hundred million [tomans] is necessary for creating such and such an occupation. But there are many occupations which are not like this. Today, we can create employment in our villages, in our small towns and in different areas of the country with much smaller amounts.

You have seen the individuals who have done so. A person appeared on television – I took a brief look at the program – saying that they had employed 20 individuals with their own creativeness, enthusiasm and talent in a specific business. That person said that their overall investment – from the beginning to the end – did not reach a hundred million, but that they managed to move the task forward bit by bit. That individual had employed 20 people in that business – which was a productive business.

If we manage to attend to the issue of villages – I have written down this point – in the real sense of the word and if we can resolve the issue of villages, then problems will decrease. A main part of rural issues is related to developing rural industries. Villages need industries which match their living conditions. We have not carried out our duties in this regard. Rural industries should receive attention. The resources which are required for villages should be provided. The friends in the meeting pointed out to the issue of the internet. The internet is also an issue which should be attended to, but what is more necessary than the internet is the issue of roads, transportation and the resources for the comfortable transportation of products.

It should not be the case that a certain product which is worth thousands of tomans per kilo in big cities be sold much less in villages so much so that villagers cannot earn much. This should not be the case. When we manage to resolve the issue of transportation and when transportation to and business in villages are facilitated and guaranteed, villages will naturally remain producers and this way many problems will be eliminated. Living on the edges [of cities] is a result of the appalling conditions in villages. That is why they come to cities. In the present time, one of the problems of the country is the phenomenon of living on the edges of cities and the corruptions that appear there. There are many social detriments which originate from this.

The next issue is the important issue of imports. Tariffs solve the problem in the case of some imported products, but it does not solve the problem in the case of other products. Therefore, importation should be prevented in certain areas. Of course, you might want to encourage importation in some areas. This is alright. It depends on the needs and resources that exist in the country. In the case of the products which are manufactured inside the country and which are harmed by importation, we should prevent importation with great intensity.

Sometimes, I hear complaints – they write to us and sometimes, I hear them in general reports – from local producers saying that although they produce a certain product with great trouble, its import equivalent enters the country without any problem. Our domestic consumers – such and such executive or semi-executive organizations – do not buy the local products with the excuse that they are not as good as their foreign counterparts.

Well, the price is cheaper. You should consume and use them in order to help the producers and this way, their future experiences will be better. This is natural and clear. Otherwise, if we keep buying luxurious products, this will not be achieved and our domestic production will reach nowhere!

Another issue is the issue of smuggling. One of the most important issues is the issue of smuggling. we should confront smuggling in a serious manner.

I have written down that most ministries can play a part in strengthening national economy. This is really the case. Many ministries are not apparently involved with economic matters – for example, the Ministry of Science is not an economic ministry – but they can play a role in strengthening national economy. For example, PhD and MA theses and other such tasks can be channeled towards national economy so that they can resolve the domestic issues of the country. Our youth are prepared. This is an important task. The relationship between industries and universities, which we have been stressing for many years, is an important task. The same is true of other ministries.

Another issue is the correct implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution. This article has not been implemented correctly in this administration and in the previous one. This was done neither in this administration nor in the previous one. In implementing Article 44 of the Constitution – which means entrusting economic responsibilities to the private sector by observing the conditions that have been specified: the policies on Article 44 have been announced and certain laws have been ratified for it – shortcomings should be compensated for. This will completely help domestic economy.

And of course, the issue of investment security is very important. Part of investment security is related to the executive branch and part of it is related to the judiciary branch and various other organizations. This is another issue.

We have said many things about economic matters. In recent years, I, government officials, members of the Majlis and others have said many things in this regard, but we should enter the arena of action. There should be a clear road map. A clear road map should be drawn. One of the first tasks that by Allah's favor should be carried out is that a clear and complete road map should be prepared so that all these tasks can be carried out by the various divisions in charge.

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan


Iran’s Presidential Election

Fortunately, we had the phenomenon of elections this year. The election was a great achievement. It showed the power of the Revolution and of the Islamic government. We should not ignore this point. In global propaganda and in the statements that are made about our elections in foreign media – as you see, they are constantly speaking about our elections – they do not at all refer to the fact that the election was a sign of the power of the Islamic Republic and of its capabilities and depth in the hearts of the people. They do not usually mention this, but this is a reality that exists.

All the people who went to ballot boxes on that Friday carried out a joint effort. This joint effort is very valuable. It should be seen and it should be shown to the world. This joint effort signaled trust in the Islamic Republic. It was an expression of trust in the Islamic government. Some people voted for Zayd, some voted for Amr, some voted for Bakr and some voted for Khalid [all these names signify “such and such a person”], but all of them participated in a joint effort. That joint effort was trusting the ballot boxes that the Islamic Republic had set up. It was trusting the great movement that has been specified in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic and entering the scene for electing the highest-ranking executive official of the country. This is very important.

We should not spoil this mutual effort. We should not engage in fabricating stories from this mutual effort and spoil the essence of this movement. This mutual effort was very important. If we divide the people of Iran into two groups and say, "Some people said yes to such and such an issue" this is wrong. The people only chose individuals. Why are we dividing the people? We should take care not to let these divisions and disagreements emerge from the heart of such a great and mutual effort which was carried out by the Iranian nation.

All the people of Iran are opposed to the enemies of this nation and to the enemies of the progress of this nation. Of course, there might be some traitors. There are traitors in all countries, in all nations and at all times, but the majority of the people of Iran are opposed and unfriendly to the enemy who imposes hardships, sanctions and wars on them. All the people are like this.

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan


National Identity

If someone comes and says, "We should become western from head to toe so that we can make progress and advance" this is trampling upon national identity. This means saying to a people with such a rich and strong history and culture, with so many beliefs and with so many diverse resources that they should abandon everything, throw everything away and become western from head to toe so that they can progress. This signifies picturing and portraying certain interests whose main requirement is separation from national identity. This is the same as depriving the people of any identity and entity. This phenomenon reached its peak during the Pahlavi era. Of course, as I said, it had begun in the late Qajar era. However, the Revolution came and changed this mentality.

One of the greatest achievements of the Islamic Revolution was that it defined an identity for the people and that it insisted on it. It derived national interests from that identity. The Revolution portrayed, confirmed and pursued national interests on the basis of that identity. With that former framework, we would even not have attained those so-called national interests. Notice that from the era of the Constitutional Movement to the time when the Revolution achieved victory, there was no progress which befitted the status of our country and which matched the big current that existed in the world, despite all those resources and assets. This was because of the loss of national identity.

Well, we speak about the identity of the people of Iran, but what is this identity? How is our national identity defined? We are a Muslim and revolutionary people who are deep-rooted in history. Our Muslim nature, our historical depth and our revolutionary quality are three main elements that constitute the identity of the people. We should not keep these three elements out of sight.

As for our Islamic nature, this means that the values and principles of Islam constitute our identity. Our deep-rootedness in history means that our human resources produced lofty thoughts throughout history in different areas such as philosophy, science and technology. Throughout history, they have carried out great tasks according to the requirements of the time and they have pushed humanity forward. You should pay attention to this point. If we think that new technologies and breakthroughs belong to the west and Europe only and that this has been the case since the beginning, this is not the case and this is wrong. In certain eras, we were pioneers and forerunners in the area of technology – the kind of technology which was based on the requirements of the time.

Of course, by nature, the more science and technology move forward, the faster their rate becomes. I have given examples in this regard many times and I do not want to repeat them again. The more progress they make, the faster their rate becomes. The reason why the gap between advanced scientific countries and backward countries grows larger in a continuous manner is this. Scientific achievements increase the rate of progress. Of course, in those days, we were forerunners in the area of technology on the basis of the needs and the requirements of the time. Not only we Iranians but also many eastern countries enjoyed this quality. Therefore, our Muslim nature, our deep-rootedness in history and the Revolution are three elements that constitute our identity.

The Revolution is an important part of our identity. The Revolution was a big transformation and a deep movement which managed to change the condition of the country with reliance on Islam. One important element of the Revolution was that it pushed the people out of the periphery and into the center of managing the country. Prior to that, the people did not have any role whatsoever in the country. Over the course of many centuries, the people of Iran used to be defined as an entity which was 'below governments'. They did not have any part in government.

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan


The Green Movement

You witnessed what happened in the year 1388. In some of the streets of Tehran, some groups – which were not large in number, they were comprised of a few people – spoke against the Islamic Republic in an outspoken manner. The problem that emerged at that time originated from some individuals' refusal to distance themselves from those people. They should have announced their distance, but they did not. That is why the subsequent problems emerged. When you see that some people want to oppose and harass the essence of your political system, your Revolution, your belief and your religion, you should distance yourselves from them and you should announce this. This is a necessity. In particular, we officials should be very serious and diligent in this regard. If this happens, then national unity and solidarity becomes meaningful and it can be achieved.

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan


The Internet

Another issue which helps you in the efficient management of the country is the issue of cyberspace. Cyberspace is very important. On the issue of cyberspace, the most important point is the issue of the National Information Network. Unfortunately, this issue has been neglected and what should be done has not been done yet. This should not continue. If we neglect this issue by arguing that cyberspace should not be controlled, this does not solve anything and this is not a good argument either.

Well, today, cyberspace is not particular to us. The whole world is involved with the issue of cyberspace. The countries which have established a national information network and which have controlled cyberspace to their advantage and to the advantage of their own values are not few in number. The best and strongest countries have certain red lines in this regard. They do not open the door. They do not open the door to many pieces and parts of cyberspace which have been dispatched by the US and by the organizations behind the US which work behind the scenes, and they control it. We too should control it.

This control does not mean that we should deprive our nation of cyberspace. This is not what I am saying. Today, an avalanche of correct and incorrect information is engulfing our internet users. They are giving wrong, incorrect and harmful information and semi-information – some data do not give true information, rather they give false information – to them. Well, these things are engulfing our internet users like an avalanche. Why should we allow this to happen? Why should we allow things which are against our values, against our well-established principles, and against the main constituents of our national identity to be developed inside the country by the people who bear malice against us? This should not be allowed.

You should do something to help everyone benefit from the advantages and good aspects of cyberspace. You can also increase the internet speed. These necessary tasks can be carried out, but the things which are to your disadvantage, and to the disadvantage of your youth and public opinion in the country should be controlled. This is a very important point. This task should be accomplished. Therefore, the issue of the National Information Network is very important.

June 12, 2017, in a speech marking the holy month of Ramadan