May 7, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2342

Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami In Friday Sermon: 'If America Was a Human Being, We'd Talk With It' – But You Are Not Human Beings; There's Been No Change During Obama's First 100 Days

May 7, 2009
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 2342

"The Iranian Nation is the Same Nation that Put All [Bush's] Options Under Table and Into History's Dustbin; Obama is Now Toeing Bush's Line Regarding Iran"

In his Friday, May 1, 2009 sermon at the Tehran University campus, Interim Tehran Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami criticized Washington for its call for talks with Tehran, saying, "The Iranian nation is the same nation that put all options of (former U.S. President George W.) Bush under table and into history's dustbin. (U.S. President Barack) Obama is now toeing Bush's line regarding Iran."

"Arab World Must Realize That Should Israel Gain Power, It Would Not Hesitate to Occupy Other Countries in the Region"

Khatami, an Iranian Assembly of Experts member, also encouraged the Arab world to cut ties with Israel, warned certain Arab leaders over their efforts to maintain close relations with it, and said that the Arab world must realize that should Israel gain power, it would not hesitate to occupy other countries in the region.

"'If America Was A Human Being, We Would Talk With It' - But You Are Not Human Beings, And This is the Same Nation It Was 30 Years Ago... And [Therefore] Say: 'Death to America!'"

In further comments on U.S.-Iran relations, Khatami said: "Praise to the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Revolution in Iran] who said, 'If America was a human being, we would talk with it' - but you are not human beings, and this is the same nation it was 30 years ago... and [therefore] say: 'Death to America!'"

He said that nothing had changed during the 100 days of the Obama presidency, even though Obama had come to power with the slogan of "change."

He added, "Today there is news [in the U.S.] that Iran is named as the most active country supporting terrorism, and the U.S.'s inexperienced foreign minister [i.e. Hillary Clinton] says that if Iran does not agree with our [i.e. the U.S.'s] directive we will intensify the sanctions... Are you [Americans] after talks? For a long time the world people have been overwhelmed by hearing your (Americans') empty drums."

Calling the U.S. claim of talks with Iran "double standards," he said, "You do not want talks!" and added that Americans are wishing the day will come for them to re-plunder Iran's wealth, but to no avail.

In further comments on U.S. President Obama's policies, he said, "The world knows quite well that Obama has gained no success inside in harnessing financial crisis."

He added that U.S. foreign policy on the Palestinians under Obama presidency was the same at that of his predecessors and a repeat of the same old policy of Bush.

He added, "Americans always consider themselves committed to supporting Israel. That's a dark stain in U.S. diplomacy."

"These [Arabs] Are People Who See America as Their Ka'ba [i.e. Their Mecca], and Consider It as Assuring Their Existence - If They Didn't Flatter America, America Wouldn't Protect Them... When Will You Learn That America is Your Enemy? When Will You Want to Learn That Israel is the Occupier and the Aggressor?"

Turning to the leaders of the Arab countries, Khatami said: "These are people who see America as their Ka'ba [i.e. their Mecca], and consider it as assuring their existence. If they didn't flatter America, America wouldn't protect them... When will you learn that America is your enemy? When will you want to learn that Israel is the occupier and the aggressor? When it gathers strength, it will occupy your lands as well... When will you want to believe this truth - that the defenders of Islam and of the Islamic countries is Iran, who is conscientious for you and your honor?"

On the subject of Iraq, Khatami said, "You (Americans) stepped in Iraq with the lip service of guaranteeing security (there), but everybody knows that the green light of terrorism in Iraq is given by the U.S. We have precise information that they [the U.S.] intend to bring Ba'thists to power. These [Ba'thists] are Al-Qaeda collaborators."

He added that the Americans had given the terrorists in Iraq a free hand to do whatever they wished.

He concluded by saying that the U.S. plans to prolong its presence in Iraq and that this should be taken as a prelude to Americans' imposing themselves on Iraq's statesmen. [1]

(To view the MEMRI TV page for Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, visit


[1] IRNA, ISNA (Iran), May 1, 2009.

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