The following are excerpts from a Friday sermon by Ahmad Khatami of the Iranian Assembly of Experts, which aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV on June 22, 2007.
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Ahmad Khatami: "Unfortunately, whenever negotiations begin, America's psychological warfare begins as well. Bush recently said, in one of his stupid and foolish statements: 'We are considering all options vis-a-vis Iran.' Thus, he hinted that a military option was possible. He should know that the Iranian people is also considering all options vis-a-vis America, including a strong punch in America's teeth."
"On the one hand, America and the European countries talk about democracy and the rule of the people, yet on the other hand, we see that when, in Palestine, a government elected by the people came to power, in elections supervised by international monitors... From the very first day of this government in office, no European country supported it. They kept putting a spoke in its wheels, and in recent months, one could sense the signs of a coup d'etat. Weapons kept flowing in to the compromising pro-American group [Fatah]. Eventually, they staged a coup d'etat and overthrew the Hamas government. It is strange that they would not accept a government elected by the people, but the European countries and their allies immediately recognized and supported the coup d'etat government [of Fatah]. However, they must know that double standards will not benefit them at all. With their own hands, they have sowed the seeds of resistance, and of a new Intifada in the occupied lands. Allah willing, this Intifada will rub the noses of Israel and the compromisers in the mood."
"The old, decrepit, and colonialist English regime presents itself as the defender of human rights, yet it awards a medal to such a wretched, bankrupt man [Salman Rushdie], who has offended the sacred values of more than 1.5 billion Muslims. Are these your human rights?"
Crowd chants: "Death to England.
"Death to England.
"Death to England."
Ahmad Khatami: "Is this your civilization? This old, decrepit government of England should know that the days of its imperialistic aspirations are gone, and today it is considered America's branded slave. They must also know that the wave of Islamic revival in the world has begun, whether they like it or not. Under these circumstances, awarding England's highest honor to a wretched man, who lacks any talent whatsoever... He is not considered a prominent novelist or author. They awarded him this medal only because he cursed the Prophet. Under these circumstances, awarding a medal to such a man entails a conflict with one and a half billion Muslims throughout the world, and you will gain nothing from this. The one thing that will happen is that you will see the Islamic world roaring together. In Islamic Iran, this revolutionary fatwa of Imam Khomeini still exists. It is unchangeable and with God's grace, it must be carried out."