0938 GMT February 17, 2019
The Leader made the remarks in a meeting with families of martyrs of the Iranian Army, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the police force on Sunday, Press TV reported.
“This revolution and the [Islamic] establishment, which came about [in Iran], have been faced with serious hostilities since its inception,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, noting that the United States has always sought to bring about “regime change” in Iran, but has always failed in its efforts to do so.
Downplaying the US claim of regime change in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Do not look at the bluster of this guy who has just come in America. These [anti-Iran claims] are not new. These have been there since day one, but their language and tone have changed.”
Referring to recent remarks by American officials about changing the Iranian government, the Leader noted, “They say we want to change the Islamic Republic establishment. Well, when have you not wanted to do this? You always wanted and you always failed and your nose has been rubbed in the dirt; and it will be like that from now on.”
Last Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a US House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing that the Iranian government “continues activities and interventions that destabilize the Middle East”.
Asked whether the United States supported regime change in Iran, the American top diplomat said that US policy was driven by relying on “elements inside of Iran” to bring about “peaceful transition of that government”.
“Our policy towards Iran is to push back on this hegemony, contain their ability to develop obviously nuclear weapons, and to work toward support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know,” he said.
The Leader said the American rulers do not know the Iranian nation, adding that the new White House leaders are like nascent hooligans who scare people by brandishing their knives until somebody punches them in the mouth and puts them in their place.
“You see that since the outset of the revolution, these people who wished the elimination of the Islamic Republic are now in the abyss of Hell and have left this world without having achieved their goals,” the Leader added.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the Islamic Republic is standing against world powers with full strength and will continue to do so in the future.
“Everybody must know this; both the enemy must know this and devout friends, [and even] those friends who are sometimes overcome by doubt [must know this]. The Islamic Republic is standing fast, and let it be known that they [enemies] cannot slap us in the face, but we will slap them in the face.”