During a Friday sermon delivered in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami criticized the U.S., saying that its "despotic administration" openly conspired against Iran. "If the American president talks nonsense, our president should punch him in the mouth," he said. The crowds responded to the sermon with chants of "Death to America!"
Following are excerpts from the sermon, which was delivered on April 25, 2014, and broadcast on Iran's Channel 1:
Ahmad Khatami: "The arrogant pharaohs throughout history have always considered themselves superior to everybody everywhere. The actions of the despotic U.S. administration constitute a clear example of this.
"Look what they are doing in Ukraine. What is going on there? Who the hell are you to interfere in the affairs of another people? Their vice president went to Ukraine, and a few hours after he left, people were killed there. What is behind these declarations? A cloud of war hangs over that region. This is what is called an 'aggressive nature.'
"Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran are hundreds of miles away from America. From across the world, they intervene in Afghanistan and Iraq, and conspire against Islamic Iran. That is one thing.
"Secondly, the Iranian regime – to use their own words – is a complete democracy of the people. The people went to the ballot, and with a turnout of over 98 percent, voted for the regime, in accordance with all the democratic criteria. Nevertheless, from day one and to this very day, the [Americans] have not ceased to openly conspire against Islamic Iran.
"Take for example, the secret spy den [the U.S. embassy] – the Muslim students knew that as long as that spy den remained open, the revolution could not be consolidated. They took over the den, caught the spies, and help America by the throat for 444 days. Well done!
"Imam [Khomeini] managed this affair and called it the 'Second Revolution.' If countries that waged a revolution, like Egypt, had learned from our experience, they wouldn't have been in the situation they find themselves in today.
"Third, the top U.S. officials without exception – from Carter to Obama – all wanted to topple the Islamic regime. It's not that they did not want to, but they failed to do so. They keep pouring their venom."
Crowd member: "Death to America!"
Crowd: "Death to America!
"Death to America!
"Death to America!" [...]
Ahmad Khatami: "When our top negotiators enter the room, they should know that when they face the Americans, they face a hostile enemy that cannot be trusted at all. Thank God, our top negotiators have acknowledged this a few times in the past. Just as you confront them during the negotiations, you must confront them on the level of political declarations… If the American president talks nonsense, our president should punch him in the mouth. [...]
"Some people ask us until when we will continue to shout: 'Death to America!' They might as well ask until when we will say our prayers and fast. As long as the enemy exists, Jihad will exist too." [...]