Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the dictator of Iran, claimed in remarks on Friday that the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday is the state of affairs that the United States would like to see in the long-term in Iran “to trigger a civil war.”
Khamenei made the remarks in a speech in which he also announced that his regime would ban the use of Chinese coronavirus vaccines from the United States and United Kingdom, although those vaccines are considered the world’s most reliable.
The Iranian regime had previously condemned and mocked the Capitol riot – triggered by supporters of President Donald Trump after, in a speech that day, Trump had urged a crowd to march to the Capitol – through its state media and through Khamenei’s underling, President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani had declared on Thursday that the riot represented the collapse of the American state.
Khamenei also once again accused the United States of creating the Islamic State, a jihadist group that the U.S. defeated in Iraq and Syria, to “destabilize” the Middle East. Iranian officials, while regularly making the claim, have yet to present credible evidence of it.
“In 2009, the U.S. wanted to make Iran unstable. But that happened to themselves in 2020-21,” Khamenei said on Friday. “You saw the people who breached the U.S. Congress. The Americans sought to do the same in Iran. They wanted to create chaos and trigger a civil war.”
“The U.S. sees its interests in regional instability under the current circumstances, unless it is the dominant power in the region,” he continued. “This is what they have admitted. … The main issue is not whether instability is needed in these countries. Rather it is how to create that instability. Once with Daesh [the Islamic State] and once with the 2009 sedition (post-election riots in Iran) or the things they do in the region.”
The “sedition” Khamenei referred to was an organic youth uprising in 2009 known as the “Green Revolution,” in which peaceful protests spread nationwide. While many in the United States supported the protests, Iranian dissidents have condemned the American president at the time, Barack Obama, for not doing enough to help them. The protests eventually fizzled after Iranian security killed over 100 people.
Khamenei urged people around the world who admired America and free democratic values to cease doing so.
“Today we can see what that big idol has turned into. This is their democracy. This is their election fiasco. This is their human rights: they kill a Black person once in every couple of hours or days, and the murderer is not prosecuted,” Khamenei claimed, without connecting the allegation of routine racist homicides to the Capitol riot. “These are ‘American values’ that today are ridiculed. This is their paralyzed economy. The U.S. economy is truly paralyzed.”
Khamenei referred to global admiration for the American democratic system as “weird.”
While condemning the U.S. for alleged intervention in the name of destabilizing the Middle East, Khamenei also vowed that Iran would continue to engage in interventions to destabilize the Middle East.
“Our Establishment is duty-bound to behave in a way that its friends in the region are reinforced,” Khamenei said. “This is our duty. Our presence is meant to strengthen our friends. We should not do anything to weaken those loyal to the Islamic Republic in the region. … Iran’s regional presence is definite, and will continue to exist.”
Iran’s “friends” in the region include the jihadist terrorist organization Hezbollah, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the jihadist Houthi movement that triggered the Yemen Civil War, and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU/PMF), a coalition of largely Shiite militias in Iraq that have regularly threatened to attack American troops.
Khamenei’s comments followed a stern condemnation of America by outgoing President Rouhani, who declared that the United States would soon cease to exist.
“What we saw in the United States yesterday (Wednesday) evening and today shows above all how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is,” Rouhani said in a televised speech. “We saw that, unfortunately, the ground is fertile for populism, despite the advances in science and industry. A populist has arrived and he has led his country to disaster over these past four years.”
Despite proclaiming the decline of the country, Rouhani urged incoming President-elect Joe Biden to “make up and restore the country,” suggesting he had hope that, under Biden, America would become a country worthy of the praise of the Iranian Islamic regime.
Despite the interruption at the Capitol, Congress affirmed Biden’s electoral win early Thursday morning, paving the way for his inauguration on January 20.