TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami criticized the US for its dual track strategy of diplomacy and pressure on Iran, saying Iranians will also push ahead with talks and anti-American slogans as their approach with the US.
“The Americans say they pursue talks and pressure at the same time, we, too, push ahead with talks and ‘down with the US’ slogan together,” Ayatollah Khatami said in an address to a large congregation of worshippers in Tehran.
The Iranian cleric lashed out at the US for its aggressive policies, saying that in the last 50 years it has launched direct or indirect military assaults on 25 countries in the world.
He also touched upon recent revelations about extensive US espionage and surveillance of targets such as European leaders, and said, “Tapping phone calls of not only ordinary individuals but also 25 world leaders (by the US) means nothing but superciliousness.”
The US colossal spying operations have targeted leaders and citizens of other nations including some of its close allies like Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
In a latest revelation, Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the CIA, said Washington has spied on the phone conversations of German chancellor Angela Merkel. The disclosure prompted the German chancellor to call US President Barack Obama to seek reassurance that her phone calls were no more targeted by US spying.
Reports of the US spying have stirred outrage in the countries that have been the target of the spying operations.
In Iran the sense of suspicion and distrust toward the US runs deep and is shared by political elites and ordinary people, alike. In early October, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called the US administration unreliable, supercilious, illogical and faithless.
This sense was created 60 years ago when the CIA orchestrated a coup that toppled the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq in 1953 and reinstated the dictatorial rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi which lasted for more than two decades until it was brought to an end by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, which brought an end to cozy relationship between the US and Iran, the American officials directed their wrath at the nascent Islamic system and made every effort to topple it, and for this purpose turned their Tehran embassy into the headquarters of anti-revolutionary forces and used it to spy on the Iranian officials and to hatch plots against the system.
Recent revelations of spying and phone tapping by the US against many countries — even its close allies — carried out in large parts in its diplomatic missions, vindicate the Iranian nation’s assertions that the US embassy in Tehran was a “den of espionage.”
The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.