Iran Leader Defends Approach to West 06/04 10:00
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iran's supreme leader on Sunday defended
his tough approach to the West, saying compromise would only invite further
hostility from Iran's enemies and blaming recent anti-government protests on
"thugs and villains."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks come amid an intensifying standoff with
Western countries over Iran's nuclear program, which has made major advances in
the five years since then-President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from an
international accord that restricted it.
Trump restored crippling sanctions on Iran that have contributed to a severe
economic crisis without forcing any concessions from its leaders. Iran has also
lent support to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, supplying armed drones that have
wreaked havoc on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
"Some people are mistaken to think if we back down from our stances in
certain cases that will cause the enmity of the U.S, the global arrogance, or
Israel toward us to diminish," said Khamenei, who has the final say on all
major Iranian policies. "This is a mistake."
He spoke at an annual speech marking the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, his predecessor and the founder of the Islamic Republic.
Khamenei alluded to nationwide protests last fall sparked by the death of a
22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the morality police
for allegedly violating the country's strict dress code. The protests escalated
into calls for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic before a deadly crackdown
largely extinguished them.
Iranian authorities have blamed the protests on a foreign conspiracy,
without providing evidence, while the demonstrators said they were protesting
over decades of repression and economic mismanagement.
"Thugs and villains did what they did and malicious individuals chanted such
slogans," Khamenei said. "According to their plot they thought the Islamic
Republic was finished and they could take the Iranian nation as servants. These
fools, once again, were wrong. Once again, they failed to know our people."