Imam Khamenei

The maximum pressure policy of the US against Iran has failed

The following is a speech delivered on September 17, 2019, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, at the beginning of Dars-e Kharij classes.


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

The days of Muharram – the great ten-day Ashura period – are over. Some of our people who monitor these occasions and who prepare reports have reported to us that this year’s mourning sessions were very well attended. What we ourselves witnessed on television and in other media showed that this was the case. They said to us that the sessions were better attended than the previous year. It is very significant to witness the formation of sessions and meetings in different parts of Tehran where twenty, thirty thousand people show their presence, listen to speakers, and shed tears with the performance of eulogists and rowzakhans. Despite all the propaganda efforts by our enemies against our holy beliefs – including in audio-visual media and today in social networks, with their various diversions and attractions for the youth - this bond with the Ahlul Bayt (greetings be upon them) is spectacular!

Despite all these efforts, when Muharram arrives, huge waves of the people move towards the camp of Hussein ibn Ali (greetings be upon him). And most of those people are young. Of course, there are middle-aged and elderly individuals among them as well, but the youth – who are the target of the enemy attacks – are larger in number. These events are very significant. This manifests that our nation is continuing a particular path under the tent of Hussein ibn Ali (greetings be upon him). Today, before I begin my fiqhi discussions, I have written down certain points which I would like to discuss:

The people are making a decision in the face of a vast and profound wave of propaganda which is being created by the enemy of the country against the holy beliefs of the country. Sometimes, signs of these often underground and hidden waves show themselves in some corners of the country and it shows how active the enemy is in this regard.

It should be noted that we are aware of an important part of these plots. Thankfully, various organizations in the country understand what is going on, but the role of the people is very important. This is why I focus on the role of the youth and the people in most of my speeches.

Brothers, sisters, those of you who will hear these statements later, the task to improve the affairs of the country is in the hands of the people of this country, in particular the youth. Everything can move on the right track in the shade of the people’s determination, decisions, insight and faith and this can help the country reach the desired point. When we constantly speak about domestic capabilities, this should be taken seriously. This holds true on cultural, economic and social matters. In all areas – even when it comes to the specialized affairs of organizations, such as security and other such areas – it is the people who can help further and improve tasks.

Today, we have progressed and moved forward in the area of science. This progress originates from the diligence of part of society – the determination of our youth. The same is true of technological areas. We have also received good news regarding production and boosting this area. By Allah’s favor, the people will see the results later on. Good tasks are being carried out. Of course, there have been some cases of negligence and laxity, but movements are thankfully targeting lofty ideals. By Allah’s favor, these measures are being adopted. The cure for the different problems of the country is in the hands of the people.

We should not look to foreigners. We should not pin our hopes on such and such a government. We should not rely on meetings with such and such a person. Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that we should shut the gates of relations with governments throughout the world. I myself was president of this country for many years. I am a man of negotiating and speaking to other people. However, it is one thing to have meetings with others, it is quite another to put everything off until those meetings. The latter is something that we disapprove of. You should benefit from the resources of the world as much as you can, but you must know that the cure for our problems lies within the country. Solving problems is the people’s job.

Foreigners cannot be expected to help the Islamic Republic which has introduced a new way in the world. The Islamic Republic is presenting a new idea in the world. The proponents of the decayed western capitalism can never welcome this new call, this new idea and this new way. They can never help move it forward. They will show enmity as much as they can, as has been the case until now. Of course, they will fail. Their enmity will get them nowhere, especially those whose enmity is clear- the United States, for example. By Allah’s favor, we have won and we will continue to win from now on, but we should know this in any case.

In the present time, you can see that the Americans continue to pursue the issue of negotiations. This is a trick. Everyone should know and pay attention to this. Of course, the Americans do not utter the same words. They sometimes speak about “negotiations without any conditions”, they sometimes say, “negotiations without setting any preconditions” and they sometimes proclaim “negotiations with 12 conditions”! Their policy might be very chaotic and they do not know what they want. This is a probability. Another probability is that they are using a trick. And one of the tricks is this: saying different things in order to confuse the other side.

Of course, we will not become confused. Our path is clear. We know what we are doing. When the US says, “let us negotiate”, it does not mean, “let us find a fair solution.” No, it means “let us sit at the negotiating table and then you accept whatever we say.” This is what they mean by negotiations.

They have become so brazen now that they are saying it outspokenly. Previously, I used to say that this is what the Americans are pursuing, but some people would say that this was wrong. Now, the Americans are saying it themselves. Just a few days ago, one of them said that we should sit at the negotiating table and Iran should accept such and such terms. This is what they mean by negotiations: we say something and you should accept it! Very well, they should go and negotiate like this with those who act as their dairy cows, but the Islamic Republic is the republic of believers, of Muslims working for Allah, and of dignity. A negotiation in which we have to accept this and that terms is meaningless.

There is an important point that you esteemed scholars and ulama – among whom there are some individuals who are in contact with the people – should pay attention to. The masses of the people and in particular those who occupy a special place among the people, they should pay attention to this as well. The government of the United States has adopted a policy which is exerting maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic. They themselves speak about exerting maximum pressure. The current administration in the US is saying that the Islamic Republic cannot be brought to its knees with deference, sweet words and the like. It cannot be coerced into accepting our terms like this. Therefore, we should exert maximum pressure on it.

And maximum pressure is what you are already witnessing: all sorts of sanctions, continuous threats and various rantings and ravings in media and the like. This is what maximum pressure is. They hope that this maximum pressure will work. They want to exert maximum pressure for their own domestic rivals and for the Europeans. Moreover, they want to establish as a definite policy of the United States, that confronting Iran is only possible through exerting maximum pressure.

Well, how do they want to prove that they have succeeded because until now maximum pressure has failed, as they themselves acknowledge. Among the Americans themselves, there are many people – there are many individuals in the world as well – who say that America’s maximum pressure has failed to bring Iran to its knees until now. Of course, this is definitely the case. So, how do they want to prove that maximum pressure is working? By dragging the Islamic Republic to the negotiating table. They want to say, “these people who used to say that they would not negotiate with the US have been forced by the maximum pressure policy to sit at the negotiating table.” This is the goal. By doing this, they want to prove to everyone that the only way to confront the Islamic Republic is this and they want to establish this in their policy. This is their policy.

We should pay attention that if our enemy manages to prove that the policy of exerting maximum pressure is the only cure for Iran and that it pays off, Iran will never see tranquillity again! Whenever they demand something from the Islamic Republic in a bullying way, if the Islamic Republic says “yes”, then there will be no problem, but if it does not accept it, then they will exert “maximum pressure”. If it becomes clear to them that maximum pressure pays off, the Islamic Republic and our dear country and our dear people will never enjoy tranquillity again. The reason is that this policy will stand behind all illegitimate, arrogant and bullying demands of the US. This is the issue.

When they insist on negotiations, when they use the Europeans as go-betweens – I will speak about the Europeans in another speech – and when they keep saying that if we meet with the US president, then all your problems will be solved, this is the reason why. They want to prove that the maximum pressure policy is a successful policy and that they should employ it in the face of Iran. In return, we should prove that the maximum pressure policy is not worth anything in the face of the Iranian nation!

If we want to summarize these points in two sentences, one is that negotiating with the US means the imposition of American demands on the Islamic Republic. The second is that negotiations mean the display of the success of America’s maximum pressure. That is why you witnessed that the honourable President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the officials of the country all unanimously said that we will not negotiate with the US: neither in bilateral nor in multilateral negotiations. If the US takes back what it said, if it returns to the nuclear negotiation that it has violated, if it expresses regret and becomes one of those countries who have signed a treaty, then it can be one of those countries, among others, which speak to Iran. Without that, no negotiation, whatsoever, will be conducted between the officials of the Islamic Republic and the Americans. This will not happen, whether on the New York trip nor on any other trips.

This was clearly specified by both the honourable President and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I also saw on television that the honorable speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the same thing. These things show that the Islamic Republic knows what it wants to do. In the course of the past 40 years, they have not managed to subjugate the Islamic Republic with all sorts of tricks and their policies have been defeated by the policies of the Islamic Republic one after another.

From now on too, by Allah’s favour and grace, they will be defeated by the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Republic will emerge victorious and honourable from this arena.