Iran Dictator: ‘Death to America’ Is Not as Bad as It Sounds

Iranians Burn US Flag APEbrahim Noroozi
AP/Ebrahim Noroozi

As Iranian Dictator Ali Khamenei led the commonly-heard “Death To America” chants in Tehran on Tuesday, he argued that “Death to America” does not really mean what it sounds like.

Khamenei, the self-declared Supreme Leader of Iran, has in the recent past threatened America with a series of ISIS-like propaganda videos. He has also called for the annihilation of the State of Israel, predicting that it would vanish from existence within 25 years.

And now, the Mullah claims “Death To America” is not as harsh a phrase as it sounds.

“The slogan ‘death to America’ is backed by reason and wisdom; and it goes without saying that the slogan does not mean death to the American nation; this slogan means death to the U.S.’s policies, death to arrogance,” he said during a speech to mark the overthrow of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the U.S. embassy in Tehran was seized and 66 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.

“This slogan means death to the policies of the U.S. and arrogant powers, and this logic is accepted by every nation when explained in clear terms,” Khamenei claimed in his speech.

On Wednesday, the anti-American festivities continued throughout Iran, with Iranians loyal to the regime burning United States flags to the ground and holding up signs reading the U.S. is equivalent to Satan. The mob also burned the flags of Israel and Saudi Arabia, and set ablaze effigies of U.S. President Barack Obama.

To mark Wednesday’s “National Day Against Global Arrogance,” Khamenei’s office released a statement, writing: “We consider U.S. as Great Satan and we believe that fighting the arrogant powers is logical.”  the Ayatollah added:

The fundamental point in understanding and analyzing the present circumstances and mapping out the future drive of the country lies in understanding the fact that the struggle of the Islamic Republic and the Iranian people against arrogance, despite remarks by certain individuals, is not irrational and emotional, but a confrontation born out of wisdom and experience and supported by science.

During the anti-American rallies, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani commented: “The U.S. embassy takeover formed the pillars of the country’s independence and fighting against the arrogant power by the Islamic Revolution in Iran.”

The anti-American rallies come as two American citizens were recently detained in Iran. In the past couple weeks, a Lebanese-American was arrested on suspicion of espionage and an Iranian-American businessman was detained on unclear charges.


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