February 3, 2012
Following Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s comment that Israel will likely attack Iran in April or June, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday his country will retaliate if Western nations impose crippling oil sanctions.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Threatening Iran and attacking Iran will harm America,” Khamenei said in a speech broadcast over Iranian television on the Muslim day of worship. “Sanctions will not have any impact on our determination to continue our nuclear course…. In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time.”
Khamenei said while sanctions will be “painful and crippling,” they will increase the nation’s resolve and resilience. “Such sanctions will benefit us. They will make us more self-reliant,” he said, “We would not achieve military progress if sanctions were not imposed on Iran’s military sector … More imposed pressures mean more self-reliance for Iran.”
“Americans say all options are on the table even the option of military strike (against Iran)… Any military strike is ten times more harmful for America. Such threats show that they have no sufficient discourse against Iran’s logic and discourse,” he continued.
“Such threats show that America has no way but using force and bloodshed to achieve its goals, which further harms America’s rulers, international and domestic credibility.”
He also threatened Israel in the speech. “I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel).”
Meanwhile, the government of the United States is working on a new round of sanctions. On Thursday, a key Senate committee passed a bill preventing Iran’s financial institutions from participating in a global system used to move money between banks. The legislation will have the effect of blocking not only oil sales, but essential commodities sold to Iran as well.
Before the sanctions take place, the legislation needs to be passed by the full Senate and balanced with a similar House bill signed by Obama earlier this year.