Iran will attack to defend itself: Khamenei

Published: March 21, 2012

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to the media after presenting his identification papers to cast his ballot in the parliamentary election in Tehran March 2, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

TEHRAN: In the face of aggression from the United States or Israel, Iran will attack to defend itself, Iran’s most powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday.

“We do not have nuclear weapons and we will not build them but in the face of aggression from the enemies, whether from America or the Zionist regime, to defend ourselves we will attack on the same level as the enemies attack us,” Khamenei said live on television.

“Americans are making a grave mistake if they think by making threats they will destroy the Iranian nation,” he said in his annual speech to mark Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.

Israel and the United States have threatened military action against Iran unless it abandons nuclear activities which the West suspects are intended to develop nuclear weapons.

Further talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries are expected to take place next month in an attempt to reach a compromise deal.

The most recent talks between world powers and Iran failed in January 2011 because of Iran’s refusal to suspend its sensitive uranium enrichment work, as demanded by several UN resolutions and major powers.

It says it has the right to develop a peaceful nuclear program under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In his speech, Khamenei highlighted the country’s nuclear achievements over the last 12 months – increasing uranium enrichment to 20 percent and loading domestically-made fuel rods into the Tehran Research Reactor.

“In a situation where the enemies were putting bets on the fall of the Iranian nation, and talking about the crippling sanctions, Iran has accomplished all these achievements,” he added.

The US and its allies have imposed tough new sanctions on Iran since this year which western diplomats say show signs of having a strong effect on the Iranian economy.

Earlier, Khamenei unveiled a national production plan and urged the nation to buy domestically-made goods, saying it would help to defeat sanctions.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Sajid
    Mar 21, 2012 - 2:26AM

    That is like saying “I will wet to dry myself”.

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  • G. Din
    Mar 21, 2012 - 2:29AM

    “We do not have nuclear weapons and we will not build them but in the face of aggression from the enemies, whether from America or the Zionist regime, to defend ourselves we will attack on the same level as the enemies attack us,” Khamenei said
    There you are! In one “brilliant” stroke, the Ayatollah has disarmed “America and the Zionist regime” of any and all weapons which Ayatollah does not have to attack on the same level (whatever that means).
    Do you have bunker busters, Ayatollah? Or, should “America and the Zionist regime” shelve them? How stupid can one get? Have you watched Obama’s lips say: “All options are on the table”!

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Mar 21, 2012 - 2:46AM

    In the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, it will play into the hands of the regime, which is per se not popular among its citizens. They will rally behind the supreme leader in this crisis and demonstrate solidarity. The ambition of going nuclear for – alleged – peace purpose is a matter of national pride and prestige, an issue which unites both the regime and its people.

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  • Shakky
    Mar 21, 2012 - 3:31AM

    One small step that Iran could take to enhance its image in the international community is to withdraw its support for the murderous Bashar Assad regime in Syria.

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  • ALi
    Mar 21, 2012 - 4:39AM

    Pakistan helped train Jandulla with the help of CIA still Iran nothing has happened to Iran.

    When Ayatollah Khameni can ask their nation to buy domestically-made goods which help their own nation then why can’t Pakistanis stop drinking pepsi coke and focus on Pakola Apple Sidra…etc…Its just an e.g.

    Just give business to Pakistani products.

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  • Hindu Indian
    Mar 21, 2012 - 9:11AM

    Every country would defend itself when it is attacked. The only exception today is Pakistan. You guys are being attacked by drones everyday and the leaders seem to be fine with it.

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  • Truth_Prevails
    Mar 21, 2012 - 9:17AM

    @G. Din: Bro, this is not a Hollywood movie, neither is it an Iraq / Afghanistan situation. USA managed to capitalize on lies of Iraq’s WMDs becuase Saddam was a dictator. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed. But Iran will be altogether a different situation. You can expect much more killings and this time on all sides. Please come out of this cowboy mentality, why does it has to be a Vitenam everytime for your guys to understand! Why?

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  • Syed Hasan Rizvi
    Mar 21, 2012 - 9:40AM

    @G.Din by “same level” he didn’t mean that Iran will use same (sophisticated) weapons. It means that aggitation will be HUGE and US/ Isreal will have to face far graver consequences than in the case of Afghanistan and/ or Iraq. And be respectful while commenting about such personalities.

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  • Abba Jee
    Mar 21, 2012 - 10:07AM

    Saddam Hussain called the first Iraq war as MOTHER OF ALL WARS. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei needs a refresher course in History.

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  • JB
    Mar 21, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Someone explain to me-who gives the US the right to keep nuclear weapons? How are they so different from the rest of the world. Its quite simple…the US needs oil. Like the US needed oil in Iraq.

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  • Ahsan
    Mar 21, 2012 - 10:40AM

    @Abba Jee:

    I think you want Ayatullah to act like the khadimain -e- Haraimain Sharifain by7 consider US and Israel as their father.

    Let suppose he take lesson from history then what do you expect from Ayatullah ? Should he refarin from talking in defensive language
    He is the most respectful leader in Islamic Countries becouse he stood firm against Zionist regime. The true example of Islamic leader who doesnt afraid of power of the enemy unlike Saudi Arabia. May God give him a healthy and good life

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  • G. Din
    Mar 21, 2012 - 3:57PM

    @Syed Hasan Rizvi:
    “And be respectful while commenting about such personalities.”
    Here in India and the rest of the non-Muslim world we have nothing but contempt for “such personalities”.

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  • Cautious
    Mar 21, 2012 - 4:41PM

    Lets hope he thinks more coherently than he talks.

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  • afrroze
    Mar 21, 2012 - 9:11PM

    states has right to defend herself . whether it is pre-emptive strike or offensive strike .

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  • ALi
    Mar 21, 2012 - 9:15PM

    We can see what Saudia, Jordan and most arab states are doing against Iran. Buying more and more arms from USA. Recommend

  • reality
    Mar 22, 2012 - 10:45AM

    “They plot and plan but God ALSO plans and the Best of Planners is God” (al-Anfal 8;30)

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  • common pakistani
    Mar 22, 2012 - 3:32PM

    @G Din
    You have your own dictators in India. But it takes brains to recognise that. Just think why 250000 farmers committed suicide there. I think Khamenai is a much better leader than most of the scum in south asia, india included. At least they have never attacked any other nation in the last two hundred years.

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  • G. Din
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:17AM

    @common pakistani:
    The issue is Iran and its foolish leadership. Stick to that. Don’t run around circles obfuscating the issue at hand! You, sir, have absolutely no idea what you are talking about: Iran, India, dictators, farmer suicides or anything else!

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  • ALi
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:17AM

    @G. Din:
    You are definitely a Shia hater like Majority of the Muslims in Pakistan.

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  • MarkH
    Mar 23, 2012 - 3:22AM

    People give Iran way too much credit. Iran being intimidating or close to evenly matched is all in your heads. It’s because the US and Israel are involved that you want to think so because you’re desperate for a primarily Muslim nation to actually put some points on the scoreboard after all your big talk of your capabilities that have never, not even once, been accurate. Iran is the last chance for the extremist Muslims to one day validate their exaggerated self images of strength, entitlement and superiority.

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  • G. Din
    Mar 24, 2012 - 4:00PM

    @ALi:
    “@G. Din:
    You are definitely a Shia hater like Majority of the Muslims in Pakistan. “

    I am not a Pakistani, nor a Muslim. If I have any respect for any Muslim, it would be for a Shia Muslim. You, too, don’t seem to have any idea about anything! And, if you are a Shia, it would disappoint me very much!

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