Khamenei Brandishes a Kalashnikov at US and Israel

The powerful spectacle of Iran’s be-turbaned supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei clutching an automatic rifle, displayed exclusively by debkafile, drew on the belligerent imagery of Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein. The Iranian media suppressed this particular shot in its coverage of his sermon at Tehran University Oct. 13, the third Friday of Ramadan. But the AK 47 toted by the ruler of the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism was not missed by the political and military leaders in his audience and accentuated his war message.
debkafile‘s Tehran sources reveal that the Iran’s leaders took three fateful steps ahead of Khamenei’s performance:
1. They pointed up the tradition initiated by the father of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of marking the last Friday of Ramadan as International al Qods Day – “Jerusalem Liberation Day.”
2. Khamenei’s aides leaked word that his decision to hold the sermon of Oct. 13 was prompted by his discovery that the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group was heading for the Persian Gulf and would be deployed in operational mode opposite Iran’s shores by Oct. 21.
3. In Beirut, Iran’s surrogate Hizballah announced the cancellation of its annual military parade on al Qods day, i.e. Oct. 20.
Military circles in the United States and Israel interpret these steps as meaning that Iran will be standing by in battle positions the day before the Eisenhower reaches its destination. debkafile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military sources have been reporting since late August that Iran’s political and military leaders have resolved not to wait passively for an American attack but to go instead for a pre-emptive strike against US forces in the Persian Gulf and Iraq, as well as targeting Israel.
On October 7, debkafile reported: Tehran and Damascus are gearing up for a pre-emptive attack on Israel to ward off a US strike on Iran’s nuclear sites – whether from Lebanon, or Golan, using Hamas to launch an offensive from Gaza, or a combination thereof. The Bush administration would then have to divide its attention and military might among three warfronts simultaneously.
debkafile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly have exhaustively covered the Iranian Blow of Zolfaqar military exercise ongoing in the Persian Gulf from August and its military’s high war preparedness, as well the US naval, air and marine concentrations due to complete their deployment opposite Iran’s shores by the end of this month.
Khamenei devoted much of his sermon to the Lebanon war waged between Israel and Hizballah in July and August. “The war isn’t finished,” he said. “And the losers will certainly not remain idle. These evil forces are already hard at work to remedy their defeat and Islamic nations need to remain vigilant and ready to react with determination against any other potential attack.”
The supreme ruler continued: “One of the projects of the Americans, Zionists and their allies is to come to Lebanon under the United Nations, officially to defend the Lebanese from the attacks of foreign forces and then change the cards on the table and fight our Hezbollah brothers.”
By smearing as fraudulent UN Resolution 1701 which expanded UNIFIL and enforced a ceasefire in Lebanon, Khamenei made a pointed attempt to discredit the world body ahead of the Security Council sanctions session called for this week to punish Iran for continuing to enrich uranium in defiance of UN resolutions.
He was also warning “the foreign forces” (UNIFlL) that “the war was not finished.” A central them of his sermon was therefore “resistance” as “the key to victory.”
The Supreme leader said the Hezbollah (armed by Iran and Syria) had achieved “a unique historic victory” for Islam over “arrogance and colonialism” (Americans and Israelis). “The Lebanon war changed the political equations in the region.”
Settling accounts with the British and the Americans, Khamenei commented, “The British are experts in pursuing that policy (of divide and rule) and they have taught the Americans how to sow the seeds of discord among Shias and Sunnis in Iraq.
Referring to the situation in Iraq, he said, “The crisis in Iraq preceded the one in Lebanon, and its intensity has aggravated today, because Iraq, Lebanon, and other events in the region are all rings of a broken American chain.”
The Iranian ruler laid great stress on “International Qods Day” as the day of “resistance” for the entire Islamic Umma against “the oppression and injustice observed by the Zionists and their supporters.”
debkafile‘s Iran and Islamic sources note that the Kalashnikov in the supreme ruler’s hand spoke louder than his bellicose rhetoric.

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