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Ayatollah Khamenei's Remarks to Iranian Air Force Officials about Negotiations with the United States, February 2013

Author: Sayyed Ali Khamenei
Published February 7, 2013

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made these remarks at a meeting with Iran's air force on February 7, 2013, responding to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's offer of direct talks about Iran's nuclear program.

The full text of the speech in Persian is available on Khamenei's official website; below is the English news release which includes summaries and select quotations:

"Ayatollah Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution met Thursday morning with commanders and personnel of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. Speaking at the meeting, which was held on the occasion of the historic pledge of allegiance of air force officers to Imam Khomeini (r.a.) on the 19th of Bahman of 1357, His Eminence said that the continuation of American pressures and threats over the past 34 years simultaneous with offers of negotiations shows their lack of good will.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the vigilance and courage of the Iranian nation in the face of deceptive moves, further reiterating: "The dear, wise and steadfast people of Iran will enter the arena on the 22nd of Bahman with unity and they will, once more, foil the plot of the enemy to separate the people from the Islamic Republic and the Revolution by initiating a national and revolutionary move."

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to different plots of the enemy such as launching coup d'états, provoking military conflicts, offering their full support to aggressors, waging hard and soft wars, exerting pressures by establishing an evil media empire and imposing strict sanctions. He added: "They have done everything in their power to make our people hopeless, lose their trust in Islam and the Islamic Republic and disappear from the scene. But, by Allah's favor, the people have become happier, more active and more loyal."

His Eminence discussed the efforts of some American officials to pit the people against the Islamic Republic by imposing more strict sanctions, further stressing: "Our nation has always responded to these words through the annual rallies on the 22nd of Bahman and this year they will do the same."

He described wisdom and vigilance as the key to success and stated: "The people accurately read every move of the Americans and the Zionists with vigilance and communal wisdom and they make no mistakes when they take actions and when they adopt positions. This fact is a great national blessing."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution pointed to recent offers by American officials, announcing constantly that they are prepared to negotiate with Iran. He reiterated: "These comments are not new and they have repeatedly said these things at different junctures. Each time, the Iranian nation judged the Americans' offers according to their actions."

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the Americans who said that the ball is in Iran's court, reiterating: "The ball is in your court because it is you who should answer this question: does it make sense to speak about negotiations while you continue to exert pressures and make threats?"

His Eminence said: "Negotiations are for the sake of proving one's honest good will. You commit tens of dishonest acts and then you speak about negotiations. Can the Iranian nation believe that you are honest?"

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution explained the reasons behind the Americans' offer of negotiations. He stated: "Of course, we understand their need for negotiations. The Middle East policies of the Americans have failed and they need to play a trump card in order to make up for this defeat."

He described the effort to drag the Islamic Republic of Iran to the negotiating table as the American trump card, adding: "They want to say to the world that they have good will, but nobody has seen any good will."

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the American offer of negotiations which was made 4 years ago, stressing: "At that time, we announced that we will not prejudge and we will wait to see what action they will take. But we saw nothing except for the continuation of their plots, their assistance to those who started the fitna and their support for terrorists who killed the scientists of the Iranian nation."

His Eminence added: "As you said, you have imposed crippling sanctions on the Iranian people in order to cripple them. Does this show your good will or insincerity?"

He stated: "Negotiations are meaningful when the two sides negotiate with good intentions and without planning to deceive one another. Negotiations should be on equal terms. Negotiations for the sake of negotiations, tactical negotiations and their offer of negotiations for the sake of showing off as a so-called great power, are deceptive moves."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution reiterated: "I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary. For this reason, I say openly, honestly and clearly that offers of negotiations are meaningful when the two sides show their good intentions."

Addressing the Americans, Ayatollah Khamenei said: "You point the gun at the people of Iran and say, negotiate or we will shoot you. You should know that exerting pressures and making offers of negotiations are not compatible and our nation is not intimidated by these things."

Criticizing a number of simple-minded people or people with ulterior motives who express interest in the offer of America, His Eminence stated: "Negotiating with America will not solve any problems because over the years they have not fulfilled any of their promises."

Organizing the coup detat of the 28th of Mordad against Dr. Mosaddeq while he had trusted the Americans and giving continuous support to the oppressive and dictatorial Pahlavi regime are two examples that Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned in order to illustrate the behavior of Americans towards the people of Iran.

He added: "During a certain period after the Revolution, some officials trusted the Americans, but then they described Iran as the axis of evil and they hurled a big insult at the Iranian nation."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution reiterated: "Taking these experiences and these facts into consideration, we stress that negotiations and pressures are two different paths. The Iranian nation will not accept negotiations under pressures and threats, with those who make threats."

His Eminence added: "Whoever wants to help America re-establish its domination and whoever acts against national interests, against the progress of the country and against national independence, will be held responsible by the people and even if I act against this public demand and I will be faced with the people's complaints."

Ayatollah Khamenei described the people of Iran as patient and peaceful people, further reiterating: "We have relations with any country which has not hatched plots against Iran and we believe this serves our national interests."

He referred to the big movement of the people of Iran as a movement which is in line with promoting the interests of Iran, the Islamic Ummah and the human community. He stated: "By Allah's favor, our nation will help the Islamic Ummah reach the peak of glory."

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution said that preserving wisdom and unity will prepare the ground for the continuation of dignity and national progress. Criticizing some recent improper behavior, His Eminence stressed: "The officials should safeguard the interests of the country."

Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned that he will speak to the people about this improper conduct in the future: "The officials should change this improper conduct which was witnessed in certain arenas and they should be a unified and determined nation."

Elsewhere in his statements, the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces stated that building fighters, different kinds of airplanes and modern equipments by the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army signifies blossoming of talents and it is a manifestation of love and innovation: "You destroyed the propaganda of dominant powers who promoted the idea that nations cannot stand on their own feet."

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