Saturday, July 19, 2008

Punishment, Even after Presidency ‎

Supreme Leader’s Warning to Bush:

In his latest remarks yesterday, the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah ‎Khamenei, backed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the person “in charge” of the nuclear case ‎and issued a direct warning to George W. Bush that “[i]f George Bush orders a military ‎strike against Iran, even if he leaves it up to the next Administration, the Iranian nation ‎will sue and punish him even after his term in his office is over." ‎
The supreme leader’s office provided the full transcript of Khamenei’s speech, which ‎was delivered on the birth date of the first Shia Imam, to the press yesterday. In part of ‎his speech, referring to military threats issued against Iran that are published as unofficial ‎news by some media organizations, Khamenei said, “[i]f anyone takes any stupid action ‎against Iran, our response will be decisive. The fact that the US government and Zionist ‎regime are talking in order to cover up their own internal problems is their business. Yet ‎if the plan to attack will be realized, they should know that the Iranian nation will cut off ‎the arm of those who attack it. For the Iranian nation, it does not matter whether this ‎criminal arm occupies a government post or not.”‎
Explicitly naming the current United States president, George W. Bush, Khamenei added, ‎‎“[i]f George Bush orders a military strike against Iran, even if he leaves it up to the next ‎Administration, the Iranian nation will sue and punish him even after his term in his ‎office is over.”‎
Commenting on the Islamic Republic’s position, the supreme leader noted, “[o]ur red ‎lines are clear and if the other parties respect the Iranian people, the dignity of the Islamic ‎republic and these red lines, our officials will negotiate as long as no one makes any ‎threats against Iran."‎
Ayatollah Khamenei also made a distinction between Europe and the United States: ‎‎“[t]he Iranian nation makes a distinction between those who, like America, oppose [our] ‎right to achieve nuclear knowledge and this huge advantage out of malice, and those who ‎respect the Iranian nation and its right and respect the nation’s red lines and want to ‎discuss various issues, including the nuclear [issue].” ‎
Meanwhile, noting that “[t]he country’s officials are making fully informed decisions ‎about the nuclear issue,” Ayatollah Khamenei commented on disagreements among ‎country’s officials over whether the Islamic Republic should negotiate with the West: ‎‎“[t]he supreme national security council, headed by the president, is responsible on the ‎nuclear question. What the president and the officials say on the nuclear issue is the fruit ‎of a consensus of all the country's officials and the heads of three branches and supreme ‎leader’s representatives in the National Security Council are dealing with this issue with ‎wisdom, commitment and responsibility.” ‎
The supreme leader’s supportive remarks of Ahmadinejad are made after several ‎international publications speculated last week about the possibility of disagreements ‎over Iran’s nuclear program between the president and supreme leader. ‎
Rumors of possible disagreements follow after former Islamic Republic Foreign Minister ‎‎(of 16 years) and current foreign policy advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar ‎Velayati, insisted in an interview with Jomhouri Eslami daily that it is in Iran’s best ‎interest to accept the proposed 5+1 package of incentives. An article authored by ‎Velayati titled, “Who Rules Iran?” was published simultaneously by several prominent ‎European newspapers. In it, Velayati declared that Ayatollah Khamenei has the last word ‎in Iran’s foreign policy and handling of the nuclear case. ‎

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