“Of course, the adversaries would deny that millions of people showed up but they do know and they do understand that as long as a nation holds its ground, enemies can do it no harm,” Ayatollah Khamenei addressed a crowd of thousands of people on the anniversary of an uprising by the people of Tabriz on February 18, 1978.
Every year on February 11, the Iranian nation turns out in droves to show support for the revolution which replaced the US-backed Pahlavi regime with an Islamic Republic.
The Leader said as long as the nation stays true to its values and defends them, as it did last week, it would prevail, with God’s assistance.
Referring to the recent deadly attack by a Pakistani-based terror group against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) members in southeastern Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Such incidents must make us aware of the price that is paid for our security.”
On Wednesday, an explosives-laden car rammed into a bus on a road in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, killing 27 members of the IRGC and injuring 13 others.
The Pakistan-based Jaish al-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the assault.
“Let’s not forget how security is established,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding, “May God bless the Islamic Revolution Guards and all of the people who protect our security, the police, and others.”
“US, Europeans not trustworthy’
Ayatollah Khamenei warned the government not to be deceived by European countries that say they want to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by US President Donald Trump last year.
He doubled down on his warnings that the US and its European allies are not trustworthy, a point that he first mentioned last Wednesday, as he unveiled a roadmap for the “second phase” of the Islamic Revolution.
“America’s enmity toward Iran is obvious,” the Leader said. “Europeans also practice deception today… The enemy sometimes shows his teeth, sometimes his fists, and sometimes his smile. All these tactics are the same. Even their smile is out of animosity.”
“I am not telling the officials what to do, but I am advising them to exercise caution [in dealing with Europe] so that they would not be tricked by them and cause problems for the country,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Washington’s major European allies have said they want to save the agreement under which world powers agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program.
The Europeans have promised to guarantee that Iran benefits from abiding by the deal, even though Trump reimposed sanctions. In practice, European companies largely abandoned plans to reinvest in Iran after Trump’s decision.
Britain, France and Germany are co-signatories of the deal along with Russia and China.
Since Washington walked out of the deal, Iran has so far continued to observe it. However, with few economic benefits to show for it, the government of President Hassan Rouhani has faced a backlash from its political rivals.
A new EU mechanism has been put in place to facilitate trade with Iran without using US dollars, drawing sharp rebuke from Washington. In practice, EU diplomats say it is likely to be used only for trade permitted by Washington anyway, such as for food or humanitarian supplies.
Iran has called on the EU to do more to demonstrate its commitment to the deal.
Drawing attention to the many problems that the US is dealing with, both inside and outside of its borders, the Leader said while “no enemy is to be underestimated,” the reality is that Washington is “weak” today.
“You can see today that our main enemy, the US, is struggling,” he asserted. “It is struggling with internal issues, it is struggling with external issues, and it is also tussling with leaders of other countries” with which it has conflicts of interest.
“Yet these stupid officials and first-class idiots get angry and labor themselves to death, holding the Warsaw summit, which gets nowhere. They invite their weak and wavering governments to plot against Iran but they get nowhere.”
Ayatollah Khamenei was referring to the recent anti-Iran meeting in the Polish capital. During the conference on the Middle East, organized by the United States, in Warsaw last week, US Vice President Mike Pence accused Washington’s European allies of trying to break US sanctions against Tehran. The meeting was attended by over 60 nations but major European powers such as Germany and France declined to send top diplomats.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the “anti-Iran” conference in Warsaw had failed: “America invites weak and frightened puppets to conspire against Iran in Warsaw, but to no avail,” he said.
“These are tell-tale signs of the enemy’s weakness. When the enemy is weak, it blows hot air,” the Leader said. “This hot air should not cause any worries among our officials.”
Press TV and Reuters contributed to this story.