Iran's Ayatollah Jannati re-affirms anti-US stance

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Friday, June 1, 2007

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is an anti-US government. The US is our enemy because we want the rule of justice and eradication of force and oppression in the world," according to Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati who is an intransigent anti-American figure in Iranian politics. Jannati also blamed America for the many atrocities in Iraq and calls for American withdrawal in light of the fact that elections have been held in Iraq. He believes that the Iraqis "don't need any caretaker."

Ayatollah Jannati is best known for being the secretary of the Guardian Council in Iran. He rose to that post in 1988 after succeeding Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei. One of his major tasks is screening all candidates who wish to run for political office. In that capacity he has dis-qualified many candidates for "financial and moral corruption, espionage and security, smuggling, and matters of that kind."

Jannati's remarks came during Friday prayers in Tehran University. With regard to the recent talks with the U.S. over the security problems of Iraq, he said,

talks in Baghdad do not change in the least the anti-American policies of the Islamic Republic.

Just over three months ago, Ayatollah Jannati dared the United States to invade Iran. He said,

We are proud of our martyrdom. One of our people's slogans is: "Martyrdom is our pride." This was the slogan of Ali and Hossein. What are they trying to make us afraid of?...If you dare, invade Iran, and you will see what disaster we will bring upon you.

According to a high-ranking Russian military official, "Currently Iran has our [Russian] air defense missile systems, which are capable of tackling U.S. combat aircraft. Iran also has French and other countries' [defense] systems." The official made this comment after there were reports that the U.S. would launch air strikes on Iran in April of 2007.