DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei staunchly defended his tough stance toward the West on Sunday, saying any concessions or compromises would lead to further hostility from Iran’s opponents. In his address, Khamenei also blamed “thugs and villains” for the recent wave of anti- government protests.
Khamenei’s remarks come amid a deepening standoff between the West and Iran, centered mainly on Iran’s nuclear program. Over the past five years, Iran has made significant advances in its nuclear capabilities since the United States, under the administration of former President Donald Trump, withdrew from the international nuclear deal that imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities. were given The tougher sanctions later reimpose by the United States failed to win any significant concessions from Iran’s leaders. In addition, Iran has attracted international concern by supplying armed drones, supporting Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, which has caused significant damage in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
During his address, Khamenei stressed that “some people mistakenly believe that if we back down from our firm positions on certain issues, it will reduce the hostility of America, global arrogance or Israel towards us. This is a grave mistake.”
Khamenei said these words during the annual speech commemorating the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic and Khamenei’s predecessor.
Referring to the nationwide protests that began last fall after the death of Mehsa Amini, a young woman who was detained by morality police for violating Iran’s strict dress code, Khamenei asserted Said that the protest was part of a wider conspiracy. The protests escalated into calls for the end of the Islamic Republic before a violent crackdown.
Iranian officials have attributed the protests to foreign intervention without providing concrete evidence, while the protesters themselves claim they are fueled by accumulated grievances stemming from decades of repression and economic mismanagement.
Khamenei said, “Thugs and villains committed their acts, and some unscrupulous people raised such slogans. According to their conspiracy, they believed that the Islamic Republic was on the verge of destruction and that they could subjugate the Iranian nation.” They were idiots. Again, proven wrong. Once again, they failed to understand the resilience and determination of our people.”
The Supreme Leader’s remarks highlight Iran’s steadfastness in the face of mounting international pressure, while also attributing recent protests to a combination of external forces and internal discord. Ongoing tensions between Iran and Western powers, particularly over the nuclear issue, continue to shape the geopolitical landscape in the region.