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March 21, 2005

Iranian Leader Says He's Ready to Battle to Death

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose voice overides all others in Iran's hierarchy, is Iran's spiritual leader and highest authority, and is widely regarded as the figurehead of the country's conservative establishment. Khamenei is a real hardliner and continues to denounce the idea of talks with the US. When pro-reform students rioted in June 2003, Ayatollah Khamenei was quick to warn that such actions would not be tolerated and he blamed the US for stirring up the trouble. He is not a man of mercy within any stretch of imagination, and is quick to condemn(literally) any opposition to his authority or views. In terms of saber rattling, this guy does it in his sleep! Bellicose is his middle name, at least with words.

- Reuters (2 hours 13 minutes ago)

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday he was ready to don combat fatigues and give his life in battle if his country were attacked, accusing Washington of seeking any excuse to start a war.

The United States and Israel have both rattled sabers over Iran's disputed nuclear program, refusing to rule out air strikes to hinder what they see as Tehran's pursuit of atomic weapons.

Khamenei stressed he would remain in the public eye if war came, unlike U.S. officials whom he accused of fleeing for cover after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

"If this nation is tested by a bitter experience, I will wear battle fatigues and will be ready to sacrifice myself at the head of the nation," he told pilgrims in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad. 

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Posted by Hyscience at March 21, 2005 12:39 PM



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