Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday threatened to retaliate against a Western-imposed embargo on Tehran’s oil exports and against a possible military attack on its nuclear facilities.
“In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats which will be implemented at the right time, if necessary,” he said in a televised speech as he led traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.
His comments came amid heightened speculation that Israel ─ with or without U.S. help ─ was contemplating air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities. The West has also ramped up sanctions aimed at severely curbing Iran’s vital oil exports.
Khamenei, who spoke as part of events marking the anniversary of his country’s 1979 Islamic revolution, focused on warnings by arch-foe the United States that it was mulling “all options” ─ including war ─ to undercut Iran’s nuclear program.
“They have threatened that all ‘options are on the table’ ... Threats of war are detrimental to the United States, and carrying out a war would be 10 times more detrimental for that country,” he said.
On Friday the Islamic Republic would not yield to international pressure to abandon its nuclear course, threatening retaliation for sanctions aimed at Iran’s oil exports.
“Threatening Iran and attacking Iran will harm America ... Sanctions will not have any impact on our determination to continue our nuclear course ... In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time,” Khamenei told worshippers in a speech broadcast live on state television.
“I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel).”