July 11, 2008

Senior Cleric Said World Should Acknowledge Iran’s Power

Commenting on international reactions to Iran's military exercise on 11 July, Tehran Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami- Kashani, said: "World media have reported that Iran tested nine medium and long-range missiles. They then said that this is a threat to Iran's neighbouring countries and those countries that are in the range of its missiles, especially Israel.

"Who raised such an issue? This has been initiated by the enemies of the Islamic Republic. The first statements in this regard were mentioned by American secretary of state and the White House spokesman. The two Republican and Democrat candidates also said a similar thing with different tones.

"What did they say? They either said that the testing [of missiles] and the exercise were illegal, or said that it was a threat. Some said that it was nothing new. In whatever way possible they attempted to condemn Iran and to set Iran against various countries.

During the second sermon which was broadcast live on Iranian radio, he added: "I will present a brief discussion, which has also been confirmed [by American officials]. They said that this was why they said that Iran should not be allowed to continue enriching uranium. They added this phrase to their previous statements.

"The point is that everybody knows that [Iran's manoeuvres] are legal. The manoeuvres have taken place in the Iranian territories. Furthermore, many condemned the statements [against Iran] in the world. Some said that [Iran's exercise] was a threat. The reality is that Iran and the Islamic Republic has gained power in many fields and it is gaining power in many other fields. Iran has become strong in technology, industry and science, including in the military field. This is Iran's power. You, enemies of the Islamic Republic, should acknowledge this power. [People chanting God is great]"

Originally published by Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, in Persian 1000 11 Jul 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Newsfile. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.