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memri
July 13, 2004 No.
743

Iran Threatens the West

In recent weeks, prominent Iranian figures have issued statements against the West, both within the government and in the newspapers close to the regime. These statements include threats to U.S. and European interests and targets throughout the world. The following is a collection of recent threats. The following is part of a comprehensive report on Iran's nuclear policy, to be published soon.

Recent Threats

In a speech to the residents of the city of Hamedan on July 5, 2004, Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei said: " We, the Iranian people, within the borders of our country, will cut off any hand that harms our scientific, natural, human, or technological interests. We will cut off the hand that is sent to invade and work against our people's interests. We will do this with no hesitation…. If the enemy has the audacity to harm and invade, our blows against it will not be limited to the borders of our country… If someone harms our people and invades [our country], we will endanger his interests anywhere in the world." [1]

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau head General Yadollah Javani wrote in the conservative daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei:"Threats of this kind are nothing new, but Iran must respond to these threats. [2] To deal with the invader, Iran will use all its capabilities within and outside Iran. It seems to me that in his [Hamedan] speech, the leader was referring to the use of all means of force, as Iran has in its possession all means of force on the highest level.

"…The converging of millions of Iranian youth imbued with the spirit of Shehada [martyrdom] in the Basij forces [3] … along with a courageous leader, the trend of the Islamic awakening, and the consolidation of many supporters around Iran's Islamic revolution can [all] go into action in times of crisis and play their part in light of these threats.

"Today we have in our possession long-range smart missiles which can reach many of the interests and vital resources of the Americans and of the Zionist regime in our region. Thus, if the enemies show stupidity and make any mistake towards Iran, [Iran] will certainly use all the means and capabilities at its disposal.

"Today we enjoy high deterrent ability, and if the enemy acts in madness and wants to try his luck, he will, as the leader said, quickly see his black fate, and will regret acting against Iran's Islamic regime." [4]

In an editorial, the July 6, 2004 edition of Kayhanstated: "The entire Islamic Middle East is now a volatile and tangled trap, and will be set off by the smallest bit of silliness – and will reap many victims of the sinful adventurers… Indeed, the White House's 80 years of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of Hell that will burn to ashes everything that has been built.

"Iran's counter-response is likely to be called 'sudden death' and 'the Angel of Death suddenly revealed.' That very day, those who resist [Iran] will be struck from directions they never expected. The heartbeat of the crisis is undoubtedly [dictated by] the hand of Iran." [5]

Previous Threats

The above threats are in addition to earlier threats that were reviewed by MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 181, "The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuclear Program" of June 17, 2004. [6] The main threats were:

1. The recruitment and training of thousands of Iranian volunteers by Iran's Revolutionary Guards for suicide attacks against Western, European, and U.S. targets in Iraq, and their dispatch to Iraq. [7]

2. Resumption of Iran's project for long-range Shihab 4 and Shihab 5 missiles, capable of reaching Europe and the U.S., by order of Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei. [8]

3. Statements by senior Revolutionary Guards officials about a plan to eliminate "Anglo-Saxon civilization" using missiles and martyrdom [suicide] bombers, and about "29 sensitive targets" in the West, already identified by Iranian intelligence with the aim of blowing them up. [9]


[1] Kayhan (Iran), July 6, 2004. See also Clip No. 140, July 5, 2004, www.memritv.org.

[2] These statements were in response to an article in The Washington Times which he claimed was about Israel's ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities within 80 seconds.

[3] The Basij is a paramilitary youth militia loyal to the regime.

[4] Kayhan (Iran), July 8, 2004.

[5] Kayhan (Iran), July 6, 2004.

[6] The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuclear Program.

[7] Reports on registration of volunteers, a volunteer suicide bombers registration convention, and the dispatch of suicide bombers to Iraq appeared in Kayhan (Iran), June 1, 2004; Sharq (Iran), June 5, 2004; Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), June 6, 2004; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 28, 2004 and June 14, 2004; Sharq (Iran), May 27, 2004 http://www.sharghnewspaper.com/830307/gover.htm, and also at the Rouydad website (Persian) that is opposed to the regime, http://rouydad.info/news/index.aspx?UID=2513.

[8] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 14, 2004.

[9] In a subsequent television interview, Dr. Hassan Abasi, theoretician of Revolutionary Guards intelligence, head of the Revolutionary Guards' Center for Doctrinaire Affairs of National Security Without Borders, and Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei's representative at the Iranian broadcasting authority, said, "If the interests of Iran are endangered, if our Iranian identity is endangered and our civilization encounters obstacles, the Westerners must know that we will certainly not allow tranquility to anyone. We will not allow anyone in the West to sit in tranquility in his home while Iran encounters problems. Therefore, I reiterate: If there is no security for our Islamic and Iranian civilization, and if Iran and if our civilization are harmed, the others must certainly expect that they too will have no security." Jaam-e Jam 2 TV (Iran), June 22, 2004.