President on right track: Iranian cleric
TEHRAN: An international Zionist conspiracy, an American bid to enact regime change in Iran and extra-marital sex — these are the main dangers facing the Islamic republic today. Or so says a close aide to Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, a powerful cleric seen as the ideological and spiritual godfather of Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “The most important challenges for the regime are the policies of the United States and the Europeans. They are trying to make trouble for us. They are trying to topple our regime,” argued Hojatoleslam Mohsen Gharavian.
“We believe the US and European nations want to see a regime in Tehran which is subordinate to their wishes and which obeys their economic and political commands,” he said in an interview in Qom.
Mesbah-Yazdi, 72, is also a prominent member of the Assembly of Experts, the body that supervises the work of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Since Ahmadinejad’s election win, he has emerged as a rising force whose viewpoints underpin Ahmadinejad’s firebrand approach.
“Nations like the United States and Britain are our worst enemies. They are instruments in the hand of world Zionism,” said Gharavian, a mid-ranking and middle-aged cleric who teaches philosophy and jurisprudence at Mesbah-Yazdi’s institute as well as Iran’s most prestigious seminary.
The Ayatollah tends to avoid giving interviews, particularly with Western media. “Today the chant of ‘Death to America’ has become like the verse of a prayer. The US should take this into consideration,” Gharavian said, while also warning European statesmen that they could even “expect a revolution like the one which toppled the Soviet Union.” “The nuclear issue has become a national issue. Today, everyday, Iranians, even shepherds and farmers from the remotest areas, say this slogan: ‘nuclear energy is our undeniable right’,” he asserted.
“I do not believe that the US can do anything about it, as they could not do anything in Iraq with all their troops. The Iraqis cannot tolerate the US presence in their country, so the US is defeated.” AFP