NewsSpecial WireIran cleric: Khomeini’s “disciples” took U.S. diplomats hostage

Iran cleric: Khomeini’s “disciples” took U.S. diplomats hostage

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Apr. 14 – A top Iranian cleric in Tehran publicly acknowledged on Friday that “disciples” of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, took American diplomats working in the United States embassy in Tehran hostage in November 1979. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Apr. 14 – A top Iranian cleric in Tehran publicly acknowledged on Friday that “disciples” of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, took American diplomats working in the United States embassy in Tehran hostage in November 1979.

“When you [the Americans”> sent Imam Khomeini to exile on November 4 [1963″>, you didn’t think that disciples of the Imam would seize your embassy on the anniversary of that day and would take away your spies blindfolded”, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the powerful Guardians Council, told worshippers during his Friday prayers sermon in the Iranian capital.

Islamist militants led by a firebrand Shiite cleric close to Ayatollah Khomeini stormed the American embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. Of the approximately 90 people inside the embassy, 52 remained in captivity for 444 days. Other senior Iranian officials have in the past acknowledged that the hostage-takers were acting in close coordination with Iran’s ruling clerics, but this was the first time a leading Iranian official acknowledged that the militants were “disciples” of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Jannati told the congregation that the United States was “decaying” and warned that Tehran was ready to face any aggression. He said the U.S would “regret it” if it launched any attack on the Islamic Republic.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is not weak”, Jannati said. “Relying on its young and creative forces and considering its military, technological, and scientific strength, Iran will not kneel before you”.

“Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan. This is Iran; it has an Imam and leader. Someone like Ayatollah [Ali”> Khamenei is leading the country”, Jannati said.

“The enemies must know that Iran is not comparable with any other country in the world”, the powerful cleric, who is a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said.

“The military might of Iran will determine security in the region. Iran’s neighbours will be covered by this security”.

Jannati told Iran’s neighbours not to fear the theocratic state’s military after the Revolutionary Guards carried out week-long naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

Addressing the Iranian people, Jannati said that the West “does not have the guts” to carry out its threats over Iran’s nuclear program.

In comments directed at the United States, Jannati said, “Look how weak and pathetic you are. You see today but you do not see tomorrow”.

In other parts of his speech, Jannati blasted U.S. influence in Iraq.

Washington’s claim that democracy had been brought about in Iraq was a “lie”, Jannati said. “America is attempting to prevent a pluralistic power take control in Iraq. It wants to impose a power dependent on itself”.

“You liars constantly speak of democracy but act in a different way”, he said, addressing the American leadership.

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