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memri
January 25, 2009 No.
2117

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami In Iran Friday Sermon: It Would Be Foolish To Think There Will Be Change In U.S. Policy; Our Slogan 'Down With The U.S.' Still Echoes

Following are excerpts from the November 14, 2008 Friday sermon by interim Tehran Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami. [1]

The Interfaith Dialogue Conference In New York Aims to Normalize Ties with Israel

On the Interfaith Dialogue conference in New York, Ayatollah Khatami said: "It is completely obvious that the conference of religions in New York aims to normalize ties with Israel; if not, what's the relation between the occupying regime's president, Shimon Peres, and the regime's foreign minister with religion, so that they could take part in the meeting?"

He continued, "All these [efforts] are for normalization of ties with Israel. They should however know that gone is the era of Israel and such political games."

Obama Will Face Same Fate As Bush If He Follows His Path

Speaking about the recent U.S. presidential election, Khatami warned president-elect Barack Obama that he would face the fate of Bush if follows Bush's mistaken path. He added, “The elections, that were unprecedented over the past 60 years in terms of U.S. public turnout, has a very clear message if there is any hearing ear. Its clear message is hatred of Bush and the ambitious and arrogant policies of the present US administration.

“That's a big no to Bush's administration... Statistics too said that Bush is the bete noire of the world people...

“Globally, hatred of Bush was clear but in the U.S. the hatred was revealed in the ballot boxes... Generally, the U.S. people saw that Bush had made the U.S. totally bankrupt in the political scene.

"The US cannot now beat the drum of being a superpower. They themselves have said that gone is the era of being a superpower."

Change Was Not the Slogan of a Party - But of the U.S. Establishment

Khatami also spoke about the U.S. economy, stating: "Every day, there is report that this bank and that bank have gone bankrupt. Seven hundred billion dollars have thus far been injected into the financial institutions, but to no avail. Their economy is still ill, and ten million jobless are still left idle. People voted to change.

“The 47-year-old successor of Bush should know that he will have the same destiny as that of Bush if decides to follow his path. Bush's successor came on the scene with the slogan of change. The question is what was the source and factor of the slogan?"

According to IRNA, Khatami said that global conditions had dictated change to the U.S establishment, and thus it was not the slogan of a party, but a slogan of the U.S. establishment. He added that global conditions had dictated a motto of change on the U.S. establishment because the U.S. has failed in all scenes: "In the field of fight on terrorism, they say explicitly that they want to come into terms with Taliban. It's evident that campaign against terrorist was a political game. In military domain too, the U.S. war machine has run aground.

"In Iraq and Afghanistan they have lost their hopes. In occupied Palestine, the U.S. failed to move one step forward and remained completely helpless. The U.S. establishment realized that should the trend continue, it will collapse. So, the US establishment adopted the motto of change. But what was the factor for the change? Undoubtedly, the factor for the change in global conditions was the Islamic Revolution of the Great Iranian people."

Khatami added that the reason for the change was the Iranian people's resistance and guidelines of the late Imam Khomeini.

It Is "Foolish" To Think That There Will Be Change in U.S. Policies; "Down With U.S." Still Echoes

Khatami stated that the U.S. started falling since the day the late Imam called the U.S. "Great Satan" and said, "The U.S. cannot do a damn thing."

"We are expecting more than what has happened."

Ayatollah Khatami added, "It will be a foolish thinking if one thinks there will be change in U.S. policies. There are others behind the stage. Since about 60 years ago, since the presidency of Eisenhower, not a slight change has been made in U.S. foreign policy. The rule of the game changes. They come on the scene one day with the slogan of change and the other day with the slogan of campaign against terrorism."

He concluded, "The slogans of the nation are the same as before and our nation has not changed. The slogan showing their (Iranians') hatred of the U.S., i.e. ‘Down with the U.S.,’ is still echoing."

Endnote:

[1] IRNA (Iran), November 14, 2008.