As two million Muslim pilgrims flooded Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, a speech said to have been written by Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah 'Ali Khamanai was delivered by his representative for Hajj affairs, Muhammad Muhammadi Reyshahri.
The speech - one of the Hajj’s first events - spoke of "the mercenary government of Israel" and the "satanic policies of international Zionism," as well as targeting the United States.
Typical was an attack on the "colonial methods" used by the "Great Satan." During the speech, many members of the audience held up yellow placards reading "Death to America" and pink placards reading "Death to Israel.”
Comments of this nature made by the Iranian regime are far from new. But as The Media Line's analysts explain, the fact that they were expressed by an Iranian official on Saudi Arabian soil in the language of the Saudis (and not in Farsi, the Iranian language), should be a source of concern to Washington. Saudi Arabia is considered one of America's most important allies in the Middle East.
Following are some excerpts from the Khamanai speech, as read by Muhammad Muhammadi Reyshahri:
"The Muslim nations face today a post-modernist colonialism. They have to benefit from their experience, and prevent the enemy from repeating the unsheathing of its sword in the shape of oppression against their values and fate."
"Today, the fleets of the arrogants are advancing once again, using cunning methods to perpetuate and strengthen their rule over the Muslim nations. The slogan of spreading democracy and human rights is one of the deceiving methods used. The Great Satan (common phrase in Iran, depicting the United States) is incarnating evil and violence against mankind, while raising the flag of defending human rights, and calling the Middle East nations to democratize."
"America and all other usurpers mobilized all their media outlets and political forces, in order to thwart the Islamic renaissance, or to oppress it if they can. The Islamic nations must understand the situation today, and to follow it with caution. The religious clerics, the religious authorities, the intellectuals, the students, the writers, the poets, the artists, the youth, and the elite – must all take with all seriousness the appropriate initiative, in order to prevent greedy America from beginning a new phase in its colonial rule over the Islamic nations."
"The Muslim world has to get rid of the constant state of learning from others, and to rely on its own resources, aiming at scientific creativity."
"The blind and brutal terror, which the occupiers use as an excuse to attack Islam and Muslims, and to continue their military invasion, is something that the Islamic values reject and denounce."
When The Media Line presented the above excerpts to the U.S. State Department for comment, a spokesman replied that, “Remarks such as these are outrageous and unacceptable. These remarks reflect an openly anti-Semitic and anti-U.S. platform from Iranian leadership that we find both troubling and destabilizing. We have been very clear about the troubling nature of Iranian behavior including its support for international terrorism, its pursuit for weapons of mass destruction, its deplorable human rights record, and its opposition to regional peace-making efforts.”
Saudi Arabian officials and the Ministry of Hajj failed to respond to numerous requests for comment by The Media Line.
This article has been reproduced by permission of The Media Line