Even at the moment hailed in the West as arguing a new spirit of conciliation---after the completion of an interim agreement on Iran's nuclear program with the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany---the Iranian Supreme Leader, Khamenei, declared in January 2014:  

By dressing up America's face, some individuals are trying to remove the ugliness, the violence and terror from this face and introduce America's government to the Iranian people as being affectionate and humanitarian...How can you change such an ugly and criminal face in front of the Iranian people with makeup?...Iran will not violate what it agreed to. But the Americans are enemies of the Islamic Revolution, they are enemies of the Islamic Republic, they are enemies of this flag that you have raised. 

 ~ Henry Kissinger, World Order, Penguin Press, Copyright 2014, Chapter 4, pages 157-158.

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Until this writing, Iran and the West have attached different meanings to the concept of negotiation.  While American and European negotiators were speaking with cautious optimism about prospects for a nuclear agreement and exercising utmost restraint in their public statements in hopes of fostering a favorable atmosphere, Ayatollah Khamenei described the nuclear talks as part of an eternal religious struggle in which negotiation was a form of combat and compromise was forbidden.  As late as May 2014, with six weeks remaining in the interim agreement period, the Iranian Supreme Leader was reported to have described the nuclear talks as follows:  

The reason for the emphasis placed on the continuation of combat, is not because of the war-mongering of the Islamic establishment.  It is only rational that for crossing a region filled with pirates, one should fully equip themselves and be motivated and capable of defending themselves.  

Under such circumstances, we have no option but to continue combat and allow the idea of combat to rule all domestic and foreign affairs of the country.  Those who seek to promote concession-making and surrendering to bullies and accuse the Islamic establishment of warmongering are indeed committing   treason.

All the officials in the country in the field of economy, science, culture, policy-making, lawmaking and foreign negotiations should be aware that they are fighting and are continuing combat for the establishment and survival of the Islamic system...Jihad is never-ending because Satan and the satanic front will exist eternally.  

~ Henry Kissinger, World Order, Penguin Press, Copyright 2014, Chapter 4, pages 166-167.

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Iran’s leader said his country wouldn’t negotiate with the U.S. beyond nuclear issues, dampening hopes that the landmark agreement with world powers could bring the two countries closer on other regional problems, such as ending the war in Syria.


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also took aim at a familiar target: Israel.

“We agreed to talks with the U.S. only for the nuclear issue,” Mr. Khamenei said, according to his official website. “In other areas, we did not allow talks with the U.S. and we will not negotiate with them.”

He also expressed his hope that Israel won’t exist in the near future.

“God willing, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime in 25 years,” he said.

The U.S. is still considered the “Great Satan,” Mr. Khamenei said, using a term coined by his predecessor, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “We drove it out through the door, and we shouldn’t allow it in through the window.”


The comments by Mr. Khamenei, a hard-liner who has the final say in most matters of state in Iran, raise questions about recent diplomatic efforts by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate in the ultraconservative clerical regime.  

~  Wall Street Journal online, article by Aresu Eqbali in Tehran and Asa Fitch in Dubai, Updated Sept. 9, 2015 6:21 p.m. ET

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested Wednesday that Israel would cease to exist within 25 years. The statement comes as the Iranian parliament prepares to vote on the landmark nuclear deal reached in July with the U.S. and five other world powers.

"I'd say [to Israel] that they will not see [the end] of these 25 years," Khamenei said, referring to the period that inspections of Iran's nuclear program will continue, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "God willing, there will be no such thing as a Zionist regime in 25 years. Until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists."

 ~  International Business Times online, Sunday, September 27, 2015, Iran Nuclear Deal: Israel Will Not Exist In 25 Years, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Says, By Michael Kaplan
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Iran's supreme leader has said that his country's struggle will only end when it defeats U.S.-led oppression.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told members of parliament in Tehran that Iran must be armed and 'have the capability to defend itself' in a 'world full of thieves'.

His comments came as negotiations with the international community over Iran's nuclear programme ran into a stalemate, with Tehran saying world powers were 'demanding too much'.

'Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist,' Khamenei told MPs, according to a translation by U.S. news site The Daily Caller.

'This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought.

'This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides.'
~  Daily Mail.com,  'Jihad will only end when society can get rid of America': Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei in chilling threat towards U.S., Sunday, Sep 27th 2015 10AM, By Damien Gayle

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Quotes About and From Iranian Leadership