Israel, the U.S. and the Arab World
ABC News & Reuters
February 12, 2010
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used a massive pro-government rally in Tehran to boast that the Islamic republic is now a nuclear state and on the brink of having the means to produce weapons grade uranium.
He was addressing a crowd of tens of thousands of government supporters who turned out in the capital's Freedom Square to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
"By God's grace it was reported that the first consignment of 20 per cent enriched uranium was produced and was put at the disposal of the scientists," Mr Ahmadinejad told the crowd.The Iranian leader has made similar claims before, but this time his words have new significance since Iran earlier this week began enriching uranium to 20 per cent - five times more potent than was produced before.
Even more ominously for the West, he also declared Iran now has the capacity to enrich to 80 per cent - just a fraction short of the weapons grade needed to build a nuclear bomb.
"Right now at Natanz we have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 per cent or 80 per cent, but we don't enrich to this level because we don't need it," Mr Ahmadinejad said.There were tough words from Europe and the US this week in response to Iran's nuclear milestone.
Now the US administration has imposed its own sanctions, freezing the American assets of four companies and one individual with links to Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, which the US sees as a key player in Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
But the thousands of Ahmadinejad supporters celebrating on the streets of Tehran yesterday brushed off the US threat, chanting "Down with America."
The United States does not believe Iran is capable of enriching uranium to the degree it says it is, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
"Iran has made a series of statements that are ... based on politics not on physics," Mr Gibbs said.Revolution Day is the biggest event on Iran's annual calendar, but all the more important this year as the embattled Islamic leadership strives to prove it still has control and the people's support.
But while the government undoubtedly had the biggest numbers on the streets, opposition leaders were determined to stage their own show of strength.
They were apparently undeterred by a spate of arrests in the days before the anniversary or even government efforts to shut down the internet and communications networks to thwart them.
Some still managed to post online footage of anti-government protests on the Tehran subway, although the ABC is unable to verify its authenticity.
And there were unconfirmed reports last night and the first amateur videos surfaced online, suggesting pro-government militia groups had beaten some protesters, including key opposition figures.
White House spokesman Mr Gibbs says protesters have the right to demonstrate without being intimidated.
"We will continue to monitor it and continue to express our condemnation and dismay for any violence that should happen as a result of the exercising of those universal rights," he said.
February 2, 2010
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Feb. 11 would mark the demise of “the liberal capitalist system,” adding that its champion, America, was on the decline and that Iran and its Islamic Revolution were on the rise.
According to a Jan. 28 translation from BBC Monitoring Middle East, Ahmadinejad spoke on official Iranian television, saying that this year’s “Ten Days of Dawn” celebration, marking the anniversary of the country’s Islamic Revolution, would see the “demise” of the American system.
“I believe that 22 Bahman [ February 11 in the Persian calendar] this year marks the demise of the liberal capitalist system.” Ahmadinejad said.The controversial Iranian president explained that, 30 years ago, Iran was merely trying to consolidate its newly minted revolution. Today, however, the country was quickly moving to overtake what he claimed was a declining United States.
“Maybe in 1359-60 [1980-81] our presence was only an announcement of our existence and strength,” he said. “It was to consolidate the revolution. Where have we got now? We have got to a point that the hegemony of arrogance [reference to the United States] has been undermined. Nations do not trust it anymore. Its principles are under question. Its efficiency is close to zero. Its power curve is dropping quickly.”Ahmadinejad claimed that Iran was an “inspiring” and “justice-seeking” country, which was just being “introduced to the world.”
“On the other hand, the Iranian nation is being introduced around the world as an inspiring, idealistic, revolutionary, God-seeking, justice-seeking, pure and humane nation.”Ahmadinejad continued the narrative of America’s impending doom in a speech Saturday, Jan. 30, claiming that the Iranian revolution was the final step in God’s plan for the world.
“God created mankind … to reach a point that it could have control over the world of creation and days and nights,” Ahmadinejad said. “It is clear to all of us that the Islamic Revolution today is a giant stride toward the implementation of this great goal. The Islamic Revolution is in the direction, and of the same nature of, the great prophet’s move. It is guided by God.”Ahmadinejad further said that the West, particularly the United States, had been the “biggest historical impediment” to the Islamic Revolution.
“The arrogant and hegemonic powers, which mankind experienced in the past 300 years – and past 60 years in particular – have been the biggest historical impediment in the face of fulfillment of this goal,” he said, according to the BBC.Ahmadinejad went on to declare that the “materialistic and hegemonic system” was dead and “slogans” about “freedom,” “human rights,” and “democracy” had misled the world.
“It is clear that the materialistic and hegemonic system has reached the end of the road, both theoretically and practically,” he said. “Forty years ago when someone mentioned the name of America, many would drool. In the minds of many, America had a mythical and invincible power.”The fiery Iranian leader predicted the “end” of American “civilization.”
“Slogans of freedom, human rights, democracy, and the right to decide your own fate, were so attractive that [they] misled many,” he continued. “Today, they have no thoughts or means other than the use of arms to prove themselves.”
“This means the end of a civilization, the end of a thought, and the end of a system,” said Ahmadinejad.
February 1, 2010
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the nation will deliver a harsh blow to the "global arrogance" on this year's anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
"The Islamic Revolution opened a window to liberty for the human race, which was trapped in the dead ends of materialism," Ahmadinejad said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday.Ahmadinejad said that in the three decades of its history, the Islamic Revolution had inspired some great developments in the world.
"If the Islamic Revolution had not occurred, liberalism and Marxism would have crushed all human dignity in their power-seeking and money-grubbing claws. Nothing would have remained of human and spiritual principles," he added.
The Iranian president made the remarks as the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution approaches.
Iranians are expected to pour into the streets on February 11 to celebrate the occasion in public rallies across the country, as they have done annually over the past three decades.