March 20th, 2012
01:12 PM ET

Iran, U.S. mark Iranian new year with blistering words

Iran and the United States rang in the Persian new year Tuesday with distinctly different messages for the Iranian people.

President Barack Obama slammed the Islamic Republic's crackdown on electronic communications and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran would not hesitate to strike back in the event of an attack on the Islamic republic.

The beginning of the year 1391 took Khamenei to the massive Imam Reza shrine complex in the eastern city of Mashhad, where thousands jammed the mosque to hear the nation's supreme leader.

Khamenei denied Iran has nuclear capability or that it is trying to develop atomic weapons. But he warned that Iran will defend itself if the United States or Israel attacks - words that only increase anxiety in Iran's nuclear showdown with world powers.

Sporadic chants of "Death to America" erupted during Khamenei's pauses in between his declarations of Iran's greatness and the West's inability to tear down the Islamic revolution's achievements.

Khamenei said the main reason for the West's enmity toward Iran has to do with its desire to control Iran's vast oil reserves.

"A nation's prowess all depends on energy, on oil," he said. "It's the Islamic Republic of Iran that they have a problem with because this republic has stood like a lion in their face."

Khamenei also urged Iranians to support domestic production to stave off the debilitating effects of international sanctions. He said the government must cooperate with local industries and financial institutions to boost production.

He urged Iranians to buy local - saying that Iranian-made products are just as good as foreign brands.

"You must seek Iran-made products," he said. "It's in your hands, the hands of the people. When you consume, consume indigenously."

Obama, on the other hand, used the holiday, known as Nowruz, to remind the world of the Tehran regime's attempts to curb the flow of information in and out of Iran.

"Like the iron curtain of the 20th century, an electronic curtain is descending as the Iranian regime attempts to control what its citizens see and hear,' Obama said in a video new year's message posted on YouTube in English, with Farsi and Arabic subtitles.

"To the people of Iran, this holiday comes at a time of continued tension between our two countries," he said.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Iran • World
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    Sounds more like an invite on the part of Khamenei! How soon people forget J A P A N, and the atomic bomb eh? Maybe they should not underestimate us Americans!

    March 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Hey Chrissy,an air burst at let's say 1000 ft above the Khamenei of Iran.That would definitly wake up Iran and the rest of the middle east,making a memorible new year,not only there,but here as well.It would quiet the sceptics as well,not a single peep.No one ,I mean no one,would talk against us again,no more sable rattlers.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Superman

    @@@ chrissy you are right, they are underestimating what we are capable of and how our reaction will be its to bad though that we have to resort to such means in the future it always an ugly thing is it not

    March 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Superman

    @@@chrissy, i almost forgot,hows your shoulder hop it gets better nothing worse i used to have problems with fingers from rock climbing . Its an ouch no matter what, some one trolled me @ skinny model article so be carefull

    March 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kevin

    Iran hates isreal. Iran hates the U.S. Iran sponsers terrorism in most countries in the region. Iran has humiliated the U.S. during the Jimmy Carter Era. Iran has no need to be messing with nuclear energy given their oil reserves.They are refusing inspections at their most sophisticated operations.
    I beleive that Isreal will act on thier own with tactical nukes and a lot of inellignece that can be acted on.
    They never start a conflict that does not accomplish their objective and meet the strategic needs of the Country.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    @ supepman, how did the job interview go? The shoulder will make it, its not the first time.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. J K

    This is a tragedy that breaks my heart. All I can say, "ITrust in the Lord and He will fight our battles". We have to PRAY about this injustice. The state of Florida should change that ridiculous law "Stand your gound" because of people like Zimmerman. ( I think this man is Cuban decent not Hispanic) I'll PRAY for ALL of us, for strength and protection.
    "The Saint's Come Marching In"

    March 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |