On June 4, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran will “strike back ten-fold” if attacked. He touted Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, saying they guarantee the country’s security. Khamenei also directed Iran’s atomic energy agency to prepare to increase its uranium enrichment capacity. “The West's dream regarding the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) will not come true, and the Iranian nation and government will not tolerate being under sanctions while limited in the nuclear field,” he said in a televised speech marking the 29th anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s death. Thousands of people, including top political, military and religious leaders, gathered at the late revolutionary leader's mausoleum. The supreme leader did not specify a timeline for ramping up the nuclear program but said Iran would stay within the JCPOA framework, implying that it will continue to comply with the deal despite the U.S. withdrawal. The following are excerpts from his defiant speech, which lasted for more than an hour, organized by topic.
"The West's dream regarding the JCPOA will not come true, and the Iranian nation and government will not tolerate being under sanctions while limited in the nuclear field. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran must make the necessary arrangements to reach 190,000 SWU (separative work units) in the framework provided by the JCPOA, and it must begin some other preparations that Mr. President has ordered effective tomorrow."
"Let me tell you something about the JCPOA: some European governments are acting as if the Iranian nation has to endure these sanctions and their effects, while at the same time it [Iran] must cease nuclear activities -- which we will certainly need in the future -- and curb the nuclear program."
"Those insiders who help the enemy, with its psychological war, are today trying to impose a distorted JCPOA on the country. Foreign governments are pursuing this goal, and some inside the country are saying that "if we do not budge," this will lead to war. This is what the enemy wants."
"By using psychological pressure, they've targeted Islamic Republic's strengths--which they introduce as challenging points to make the Iranian nation disappointed in those strong points. These points of strength include the prideful progress of nuclear technology and missile power."
"A prime example is the missile program: constructing various types of missiles and acquiring missile power guarantees the country's security. Our youthful generations do not remember the days when Tehran was under a barrage of missile attacks day and night [during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq]. Houses were destroyed and innocent lives were taken. The enemy's missiles obviously reached cities near the frontlines -- like Dezfoul, Ahwaz, Suse, and other towns and cities -- but also Tehran, and other cities even farther! We did not have missiles or other means of self-defense, we simply had to watch all the suffering as our hands were tied. Thus, missiles are for our own security and our strength."
"Now, you see that the enemy has focused on this strong point: they have set their sights on our missile program. Unfortunately, some inside the country are going along with the enemy and suggest that we give in. However, today, our youth have made us the foremost missile power in the region. The enemy must know, if they strike us just once, we will strike back ten-fold!"
Today the enemy's plan is to exert economic, psychological pressures and unrest to dominate over our beloved nation of Iran, just as they dominate some disgraceful countries in our region.— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) June 4, 2018
"The Islamic Republic of Iran's support for the Palestinian nation and other oppressed nations is a source of grace for Iran. The Islamic Republic has strengthened resistance forces in the region that stand against the Zionist regime: this is while the enemies have created detrimental elements such as ISIS and the Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic Republic supported the resistance forces in the West Asian region. This equals defending the Palestinian nation and defending the independence of countries in the region."
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
"Thirty years have passed since we’ve been speaking of Imam Khomeini on this day. Our nation will continue to speak of Imam Khomeini: this is appropriate because Imam Khomeini is the symbol of our great revolution. This country wouldn’t have achieved its exceptional goals and dreams without the powerful engine that kept our revolution going."
“I am going to mention some characteristics in the behavioural pattern of the great Imam:
1. Bravely, actively, and strongly opposing the enmities, without showing any weakness or passivity
2. Avoiding dramatization and relying upon reasonable calculations
3. Respecting priorities
4. Trusting the strengths of the people, especially the youth
5. Mistrusting the enemy
6. Working towards unity within the nation and avoiding polarity
7. Having a strong faith in God's help and promises."
Message for Arab Youth (delivered in Arabic)
"I deem it necessary to make this statement to zealous Arab youth at the end of my speech:
Today your nations rely on you for the realization of their hopes. Prepare yourself for a tomorrow when your countries are free, independent, and developed.
Being passive towards the domineering US, lacking appropriate policies towards the usurper Zionist regime, showing hostility to brothers and being humble before enemies, have turned some Arab governments into an enemy for their nations. You are the ones who should counter this void in the equation.
I invite you to hope, innovation, action, and self-preparation. The future belongs to you if you build it. Do not fear the unbelievers' hegemony. Be sure about God's promise of victory and this explicit saying: "Or, do they desire to outwit? The unbelievers are the outwitted." (Quran, 52:42)
Friday is the day of Quds: defending the resistant Palestinian nation and its self-sacrificing combatants is a big step in this direction."
Click here for more excerpted translations of his speech.