The New York Times reports: Iran’s leaders marshaled a furious formal rejection on Wednesday of the United States accusations that the Islamic republic had schemed to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, calling the case a cynical fabrication meant to vilify Iran and distract Americans from their own severe economic problems, highlighted by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The Foreign Ministry of Iran issued an angry complaint to the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which is responsible for monitoring United States interests in Iran since the two broke diplomatic relations 32 years ago after the Islamic Revolution. The ministry said it had summoned the Swiss ambassador to personally convey its outrage over the American charges and warn “against the repetition of such politically motivated allegations.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, went a step further. In a speech broadcast on Iran state television, he predicted what he called the demise of American capitalism and corporate favoritism. Press TV, an Iran government Web site that translated portions of the ayatollah’s speech, said he emphasized that “the corrupted capitalist system shows no mercy to any nation, including the American people.”
The ayatollah commended the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, Washington and other American cities, calling them a consequence of “the prevalence of top-level corruption, poverty and social inequality in America.” He denounced what he called “the heavy-handed treatment of the demonstrators by U.S. officials” and said that such treatment “is not seen even in underdeveloped countries with dictatorial regimes.”
“They may crack down on this movement but cannot uproot it,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “Ultimately, it will grow so that it will bring down the capitalist system and the West.”
Not that Khamenei would have any experience in heavy-handed treatment of demonstrators!