Qom-Based Iranian Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said in an interview with Lebanese channel Mayadeen TV that the U.S. and Britain are no longer what they used to be and that "Iran now has the final say in the progress of events in the world." In light of the progress of Iranian ideology, Ayatollah Shirazi said, it is "somewhat realistic" to say that "one of these days we shall hear the azan call to prayer in America." Ayatollah Shirazi accused the U.S. of trying to ignite a sectarian war in the region as an alternative to the lifted sanctions. The interview aired on May 19.
Following are excerpts
Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi: America is no longer the America of the past in this region. The same holds true for England. They can no longer take whatever they want from the region. When their influence was greater, they forced the other regimes in the region to create security anarchy. Today, praise be to Allah, we see that the regime of the Islamic Republic has become the number one power in the region and even on a global level. Iran now has the final say in the progress of events in the world. It is well known that not a day goes by without the American president talking about the Islamic Republic. In the past, nobody was talking about us. But we have become a power to be reckoned with. This leads us to say that the revolutionary ideology in Islam has developed tremendously, and one of these days we shall hear the azan call to prayer in America. Even if this statement is exaggerated, it is somewhat realistic.
Interviewer: Today, considering the Iranian-American agreement, is it possible to say that America is pleased with Iran, since [Iran] digressed from the path of Imam Khomeini and the Islamic revolution?
Naser Makarem Shirazi: America is not pleased with us and we are not pleased with America. They will not be pleased with us in the future, and vice versa.
Interviewer: Are you certain about this?
Naser Makarem Shirazi: I am certain. There are limited agreements in special circumstances, but in essence, the two are [very] different.
Naser Makarem Shirazi: I have read a report that clearly said that the American Secretary of State had declared: 'We shall topple the Islamic rule in Iran by means of sectarian war.' He said it loud and clear. That is their plan now. The sanctions did not have significant impact. I am not saying that their plan was not influential, but it did not accomplish what they had wanted. The threats did not get them anywhere either. So now they are working on igniting a sectarian war.
Naser Makarem Shirazi: British intelligence employs some Shiites to demean what is holy to [Sunni] Muslims. We do not consider these [London-based Shiite clerics] to be legitimate. We reject them. They spread their sectarian venom from London.
Interviewer: British intelligence?
Naser Makarem Shirazi: Yes.
Interviewer: By the way, they are skilled in sowing strife among the Muslims.
Naser Makarem Shirazi: Right.