Earlier this month, Iran marked 27 years since the passing of former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – the “architect” of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The large-scale commemorations and mass tributes were stark reminders that Iran’s revolution is not a thing of the past – it is ongoing and constant, as its current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, took care to remind us recently.
In his annual speech at Khomeini’s shrine, Khamenei reiterated that Iran wouldn’t succumb to pressure and “ploys” by its “enemies,” who are “afraid of the Iranian nation’s ‘Revolutionary spirit.’” As reported by tasnimnews, he referred several times to the US as the “enemy” and as the “untrustworthy” entity.
His reference to the “Revolutionary spirit”, presumably, includes the revolution’s current incarnations (and attempts to export it to other Middle Eastern states): from Iran’s bid for regional hegemony, to its military activity undermining the sovereignty of its neighbors, to “resistance” in the form of terror sponsorship. Dismissing the very thought of cooperation with the US and Europe (including against ISIS), Khamenei went on to spew the usual vitriol against “evil” Britain and the US, which he called the “Great Satan”; threats of “crushing action” against the West by Iranian top brass soon followed.
While most major English-language news outlets led their reports on the speech with Khamenei’s hostile comments, some (such as CNN & The Independent) chose a different angle, highlighting what he might have been responding to: the US State Department’s annual survey of global terror, which found that Iran is the main state sponsor of terrorism around the world.
Khamenei’s comments, and the State Department report that preceded them, indicate that the Revolution in Iran is still going strong – and that Iran hasn’t really been transformed under the “moderate” Rouhani. So if Khamenei claims Washington’s aims are “180 degrees opposed to Iran’s,” then he is also admitting that the opposite is true – that Iran’s aims differ diametrically from those of the West. Perhaps we should take his word for it?