In several occasions, Imam Khamenei has depicted the weakness and decline of the U.S.’s power in different areas including: political, economic, social, military, security, and ethical at the national, regional and international levels. This is based on some past events, signs, official statistics, opinions of social scientists and the admittance of former American politicians themselves. In his speech made on June 4, 2019, his Eminence used the term “termite decline” (denoting their gradual decline) to refer to the aforementioned situation. According to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the Americans pretend to be in a position of power through the use of a policy of force, threats of war, sanctions, and false propaganda in the media and through Hollywood. However in practice, they have suffered obvious defeat in their use of both “hard power” and “soft power” in recent decades. Their weakness and decline have been more prominent in the areas of “soft power.” Losing credit, the weakening of America’s image, a feeling of hatred in the public opinion toward the U.S. (even among Europeans), decline of American values, international isolation, and deterioration of liberal democracy are some of the matters that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution has referred to. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also stated that even if this weakness is more apparent in the current U.S. government’s administration, its causes are historical and long-term and cannot be easily remedied. Thus, its result is the fall of the U.S. This is a fall, which is in accordance with the ways of God. The U.S. is no longer dependable for anyone, even its own people. The U.S.’s grandeur is not comparable to what it was in the past, especially forty years ago. Khamenei.ir has compiled some of the statements of Imam Khamenei on the decline of the U.S.:
1. The gradual decline of the US
The arrogant power of the US and the seditious and malicious power of the Zionist regime, from 40 years ago onwards, have increasingly declined. We should consider this in our calculations. The political, social and economic condition of the US in the past and in the present time should be considered in our calculations.
Again, this has been acknowledged by some Americans. Some have referred to it as “a termite-like decline.” This has been coined by an American writer. He compares the decline of America decline to what occurs with termite. That is to say, it is becoming hollow from the inside like what termites do. American themselves have said this. This is the case in economic, social and political areas. There are clear statistics about the condition of the US economy and its effect on the global economy, which has declined astonishingly in recent decades. There are statistics in this regard. I have written them down, but it is not necessary to get into details. American power has declined in the area of politics as well.
I will tell you that if there is only one reason to evidence the political decline of the US, which I will mention – this would be enough: the election of someone of the caliber of Mr. Donald Trump! This election in itself is a sign of the political decline of the US. The fate of three hundred-plus million individuals is in the hands of someone with these qualities: this is a sign of the political decline of the US! When someone becomes the president of a country about whose psychological, mental and moral stability there are many questions, this is a sign of the decline of that country – a political and moral decline. They constantly supported and defended the crimes and slaughter conducted by the Zionist regime. They advocated the crimes of several governments in Yemen and the slaughter of the innocent people of Yemen. They advocate crimes. Is there ever a moral decline worse than this?
There are numerous problems inside the US itself. […] The US Department of Agriculture has officially announced that 41 million people in the US wrestle with hunger! This is the condition of the US. This is the economic condition of the US. The US government’s deficit amounts to 2.2 trillion dollars. This is a mythical sum. These sums of money are unbelievable. These are their maladies.
That is while that person expresses his sympathy with the Iranian nation saying that they want the Iranian nation to be happy and to have job opportunities. You should go correct your own affairs! If you can, you should go correct your own conditions. The US is the first in the world in terms of violent crimes. It is the first in the world in terms of drug consumption. It is the first in the world in terms of killing its own people. It is the first in the world in terms of police killings of the people. The statistics that they themselves have released show that in the past eight months, 830 Americans have been killed on the streets by the police. This is the social condition of a government that challenges the Iranian nation. Jun 4, 2019
2. The US today is much weaker than it was forty years ago
When we look at the condition of the US, we see that America’s power, might, and awe is declining in the world. It has been declining over the years. America today is much weaker than that time when the Revolution achieved victory. America’s power is decreasing: this is an important point
Many credible politicians and social scientists of the world believe that America’s soft-power is declining and disappearing. What is soft-power? Soft-power means the capability of a government to make others accept and believe its demands, opinions, and beliefs. This soft-power of the US is completely waning and declining, and this is happening in different areas. This was the case during the time of the Obama administration as well, but since that other gentleman took over, they are unambiguously opposing him. The world is opposing him in most areas of his decision making. –This is not just some opposition on part of the people – if they conduct a poll on a global scale, they will get negative opinions – but even those governments which have some considerations for the US are opposing him.
China, Europe, Russia, India, Africa, and Latin America are all protesting his decisions. America’s soft-power is declining and disappearing. –This is not my claim: this is a claim which has been put forward by well-known social scientists. America’s moral and soft power is declining. They are even disgracing liberal democracy which is the main pillar of western civilization: they are disgracing it.
Several years ago, a well-known sociologist said that the current condition of the US is the epitome of the historic perfection of humanity and that humanity will not be able to go beyond this. That same person has taken it back, and today he says that this is not the case, and he dreams of other things. He may not explicitly say that he was wrong, but he is contradicting his old beliefs: the exact opposite of what he had said in those days. –Well, this is the condition of the US.
Of course, as I have mentioned, frequently, liberal democracy has proven to be the ruin of Western nations who have based their government and social system on liberal democracy. The kind of liberal democracy which is common in the West today has ruined them. –It has led to social rifts, lack of social justice, the destruction of the family unit, comprehensive and epidemic corruption, and excessive and extreme individualism: they are all ruined.
Now, with the emergence of that man – the current eerie and strange U.S. President – he is selling all their values at a cheap price: he has, in fact, destroyed the remainder of American reputation and that of liberal democracy. –This [portion of the speech] was about the soft power of the US.
Let me tell you, America’s hard power has been severely damaged too. Hard power means military and economic power: these are the constituents of hard power. Sure, they have military weapons, but the human and military resources of the US are extremely despondent, confused, agitated, and hesitant. That is why they use criminal organizations – like Blackwater (known as Academi today) and other such organizations – to further their goals wherever they are in the world. In other words, American soldiers are not able to implement America’s plans: this is the present condition of their human resources.
The same is true of their economy. Today, America’s public debts amount to over 15 trillion dollars or more [with the total public debts outstanding at over 21 trillion!] –This is a grotesque figure! Their debts amount to 15 trillion USD! And their budget deficit is about 800 billion dollars in the current year. These are, in fact, their economic deficiencies. As usual, they try to cover them up with pompous gestures, slogans, and various statements to keep up for the sake of appearances, but these are the realities of the US. –This is the hard power of the US.
So, the United States of America is declining: everyone must realize it. Those who are willing to completely forget about the issue of Palestine, with their support of the US in the region, need to realize that the US is declining! It is regional nations who are thriving. It is the truths in the region which are thriving. The US is declining in its own region, let alone in this region.
Nov 3, 2018
3. The factors that have led to the decline of the US have been formed over time and cannot easily be remedied
The US is declining: everyone must know it. Those individuals who are inclined to compromise with the Americans are devising a groundless and unjustified plan. The US is declining. And the factors in the decline of the US have not come into being in the present time or in the recent past so much so that someone would try to cure them. They have come into being throughout history. The factor and element which has brought about such a condition for the Americans is a long-term factor. They have created a condition in the course of history which has led to the current situation, and it cannot be cured so easily. –This is a divine tradition. They are condemned to decline, destruction, and disappearance from the scene of global power.
Nov 3, 2018
4. Why does the US fail in international dealings, despite having money and facilities
By creating false images, they try to divert the thoughts of the Iranian nation. They portray both false images on Iran and about themselves. They also create false images regarding the conditions of the region. One of the false images that they create is that they are in a position of power — while they are not in a position of power.
Now, their hard power is a visible type of power. In other words, they have money, military weapons, and media resources: these are their hard weapons. However, in international confrontations, it is the soft power which is the main criterion. Soft war power equals logic, reasoning, sensible arguments, and new discourse – a new discourse which plays a determining role in life. –It means presenting new ideas. They have no new ideas to show. They have no logic. The U.S. is extremely poor at soft war power. They only know how to bully others: its reasoning is poor.
Today, its liberal democracy is ridiculed around the world. Its methods of implementing liberal democracy – which they were once proud of – are being widely criticized by intellectuals from throughout the world. That is why you are witnessing that the US – which enjoys atomic power, advanced technology, and large sources of money – has been defeated in many parts of the world. It was defeated in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Pakistan, and in Afghanistan. It has been defeated in its confrontation against global powers; and today, one can envisage other defeats for the US. –This is the image that they have created about themselves which is false and fabricated.
Oct 4, 2018
5. US aspirations weren’t achieved; Iran’s aspirations were achieved
the policies of the greatest powers in the world have become trapped in the mud in West Asia. These policies have failed. They themselves say that this failure is because of the influence and power of the Islamic Republic. This is very important. They wanted to impose every disaster that they liked on Iraq and Syria, but they failed. Well, this is very important. This is the same thing that you wanted. This is the same thing that the Revolution wanted.
The goals of the Revolution have been attained, but the goals of the US and its allies – not only the US – have not. This is only an example and such victories, capabilities and achievements are many.
Jun 7, 2017
6. US’s situation compared to fifty years ago
The enemy has become weak. The enemy of Islam – which is arrogance – is weaker now compared to all other eras during the past 100, 150 years. Take a look at colonialist governments in Europe. They are faced with economic, political and security problems. Today, these governments have all sorts of problems. America is worse than them. It is faced with moral, political and serious financial and monetary problems. It is faced with disgrace and damage to its superpower status everywhere in the world, not just in the world of Islam.
Besides, the Zionist regime has become weaker compared to the past. This is the same regime which used to chant the slogan of “from Nile to Euphrates”. They used to shout and say openly that the region from Nile to Euphrates belongs to them. However, they could not conquer Palestinian tunnels in Gaza for 50 days. This is the same regime. They used all their power for 50 days so that they can sabotage, destroy and conquer the underground tunnels of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinians, but they failed. This is the same regime which used to say, “The region from Nile to Euphrates belongs to us”. Notice how it has changed. Notice how weak it has become.
The problems of the enemies of Islam are many. The enemies of Islam were frustrated in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They were frustrated in different areas and their goals were not achieved. As you saw, in order to confront the Islamic Republic on the nuclear issue, America and colonialist countries in Europe gathered and used all their power so that they could bring the Islamic Republic to its knees on this matter, but they failed and they will continue to fail [audience shout “Allahu Akbar”].
This is the weakness of the other side. But by Allah’s favor, you will become stronger on a daily basis. The future belongs to you and
Nov 25, 2014
7. International and internal signs of US’s decline
There is nobody in the world who doubts the fact that over the past thirty years, America has declined more than thirty levels in terms of power and global credibility. Everybody knows this. Even the Americans themselves admit this. For example, veteran American politicians make fun of the recent American governments and politicians and tell them, “You dragged America down from that position and into these conditions”. And they are right: America has declined. Today there is no government in the world that is as hated as the American government. If the regional governments as well as other governments outside the region find the courage to specify a day for expressing hatred towards the American government and tell their people to take to the streets on that day, the demonstration that will be held will be the largest in history. This is America’s status in the world.
As for America’s intellectual and rational state – after all, a government or a nation relies on the intellectual principles that it presents. Money alone does not bring about credibility for nations: there is a need for ideas. The Americans used to say that they had a set of “principles”, that they had a set of “values”, “American values”. They used to create uproar in the world for the sake of these principles and values. Notice what has happened to American values today.
They were claiming that they were opposed to terrorism. Today in our region and in many other parts of the world, they enter into an alliance with terrorists. They arrange meetings with terrorists and negotiate with them. They provide terrorists with money and weapons so that they can carry on their terrorist activities. They support the Munafeqeen grouplet who have admitted to assassinating thousands of people in the country. They took this grouplet off their “list of terrorist organizations”.
They claim that they support democracy. They say that they are after democracy and the right to vote, yet they strongly support the most autocratic rulers in our region and in other parts of the world. Everybody can clearly see this. This is an example of the decline of values. There is a government that claims to support human rights and democracy, yet it most strongly supports and helps governments that do not know what democracy is.
They claim to support human rights. After all, human rights is loudly promoted as an American value. They are carrying the flag of human rights, but the worst actions against human rights are carried out under the protection of America. Not only do the Americans fail to confront such actions, but they also support them. In the occupied Palestinian lands, the shameless Zionist thugs have been openly trampling on the rights of the Palestinian nation for 65 years. But the Americans do not even frown at them. They even help and support the Zionists.
They claim that they support peoples, yet they confront peoples wherever there is a popular movement for freedom and reform, wherever there is a revolutionary movement against evil.
They claim that they are the wealthiest nation and government in the world. Of course, America is a wealthy country. It has all the necessary natural resources, above and below the surface of the earth. But the performance of their politicians has been so bad that today America has the most indebted government in the world. America’s debts are as big as its gross domestic product. For a country, nothing is more disgraceful than this.
They claim to support freedom, yet there is no other country in the world whose incarceration rate is as high as that of America. America has a population of around three hundred million with the highest proportion of prison population in the world. Besides, there are fake kangaroo courts in America. Of course, in their movies and TV series, they show a different picture of courts: courts with specific procedures. These things are only true in Hollywood productions, in the life of movie characters. The truth is something else. They claim that they have a proud people. American governments have humiliated and misguided their people, just as the Holy Quran says about the Pharaoh: “Pharaoh led his people astray instead of leading them aright.” [The Holy Quran, 20: 79] They have led their own people astray. They keep the facts from their own people. Oct 31, 2012
8. The decline of the US’s reputation as the top power in wealth, science, technology and military force in the world
Another sign of this fundamental change in the map of the world is that America’s credibility is declining. As the top country in the world in terms of wealth, science, technology and military power, America enjoyed credibility for several decades and this credibility increased America’s influence. During the early decades of the second half of the 20th century, America’s credibility had reached its peak. This was the case in our country as well. An elected government like the government of Dr. Mosaddeq would run away from England and seek protection from America. Such things would increase America’s credibility. This was the case in the entire world. Today this credibility has completely disappeared. That is to say, America is condemned in the world. The American government does not enjoy widespread credibility among the people of any country. “Death to America” is not just a slogan that is particular to the Iranian nation. This slogan is chanted in many other countries as well. A government that supports oppression, war, accumulation of weapons, domination of nations, bullying and interference in the affairs of all countries has acquired such a bad reputation and this is another sign. Aug 12, 2012
9. $15,000B of debt
Today America has a debt of fifteen trillion dollars. This debt is equal to – or bigger than – their gross domestic product. This is a big problem for a country. As for their political situation, they were forced to leave Iraq without any achievements and in Afghanistan[…] their situation is becoming worse on a daily basis. In Muslim countries, in Egypt, in North Africa, in Tunisia, the Americans have completely lost their original awe. This is simple mathematics. It is not complicated. Mar 20, 2012
10. Due to the US’s incompetency in dialogues with Iran, the US resorts to force against Iran
They[The U.S. govt] constantly threaten us, saying that all options are on the table “ that is to say, even a military attack. This is, in fact, a military threat which is expressed in this way. This military threat is harmful to America and an actual war would be ten times more harmful to America. Why are these threats harmful to America? Because they show that America is unable to confront Iran in a logical way. They do not have a discourse against the discourse of the Islamic Republic. They cannot gain an advantage in the arena of intellectual and logical confrontation, so they are forced to resort to coercion. This means that coercion is America’s only logic. Except for bloodshed, America does not have any means to advance its position. This will further undermine America’s credibility in the eyes of the people of the world as well as the people of America. This is what determines the fate of governments. It is clear what will happen to a government whose credibility is undermined in the eyes of its own people, like the Soviet Union. As it happens, certain western intellectuals said a few days ago that today the situation of America and the west is like the situation of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, which resulted in its collapse. That is to say, when a government falls from favor among its own people in terms of its logic and discourse, it will have no chance for survival. Therefore, the more they threaten, the more they will be harmed. Of course, the Americans and others should, and do, know that we have our own threats to confront the military threats and oil sanctions and when necessary, we will make use of them at the right time. Feb 3, 2012
11. The hatred of the nations of the region and the American people for the heads of the US regime
They say that they want to isolate Iran, but it is they themselves who have been isolated. Today among nations of the world, there is no government that is hated more than America. Today America is the most hated government in the eyes of the people of the regional countries. Not only are you isolated but you are also hatred.
Two years ago, the US President travelled to Egypt to praise Islam and flatter Muslims a little in the hope that he would manage to attract the attention of the world of Islam. What was the result? A small minority – namely the ruling group, headed by Hosni Mubarak who was subsequently removed from power – supported him, but the majority of the people of Egypt and the majority of the people of the regional countries did not fall for his hypocritical gesture. Today you see that the same countries are shouting anti-America slogans.
The US President travels to Afghanistan – which has been occupied by more than tens of thousands of American and NATO troops – but he does not dare step out of Bagram Airfield, which is an American military base. He did not arrange any meetings with any Afghan statesmen in Kabul or other places. He stayed in the military base and did not step out of it until it was time to return. You are afraid of the majority of the people. You are afraid of the majority of the people of nations. Today you are even afraid of the majority of your own people in America.
In order to isolate the Islamic Republic, they promote Iranophobia and they constantly back up their statements with other statements. No, Iran is a supporter of the people. Iran is a supporter of the oppressed. The Islamic Republic is opposed to oppression. The Islamic Republic will continue fighting oppressors. It will stand up against the bullying and greed of the arrogant powers and oppressors with all its power and it will not back down. This is why wherever the people of nations are familiar with the Islamic Republic, they love it. They support the Islamic Republic. They love the slogans of the Islamic Republic. In contrast, you leaders of the United States of America are hated in Iraq. You are hated in Afghanistan. You are hated in Egypt. You are hated in post-revolution Tunisia. You are hated in Libya, where your forces are carrying out military operations. You are hated even in Europe.
A few years ago, a small number of people sat down together in a European country and decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the current US president. They were just a small number of people whose decision was heavily influenced by political motives and relationships. Later on, when the American President traveled to Europe to collect the prize, the people of that country protested against him. You are supported by the privileged few. You are the 1 percent. The vast majority of the people are opposed to you and the opposite is true of the orientation and movement of the Islamic Republic. Therefore, in their battle against the Iranian nation, the enemies will not achieve any results no matter how hard they try. And the resistance of our youth to preserve their national and Islamic identity will overcome all the efforts by the enemies. I ask you dear youth to appreciate this situation and to prepare yourselves on a daily basis for a glorious future. Oct 15, 2011
12. The impact of the conquest of the American embassy in Iran on damaging the grandeur of the US in the world
On the occasion of the anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s (r.a.) exile and the massacre of students, once again our youth entered the arena in the year 1358 and did something that astonished the world and brought America to its knees. This is the truth. It is not just a slogan. You should know that the day the den of spies was captured, the American government was several times more formidable and prestigious than today. America has lost its prestige in the world today, and different peoples are openly insulting and cursing America. It was not like this at that time. America used to be regarded as the world’s top superpower at that time. Our young students – who were acting as the first line of defense in the Iranian nation’s camp of resistance – courageously captured America’s embassy, and those who were in the embassy were taken hostage. Of course Imam Khomeini (r.a.) was kind enough to let some of them – like women – return to America after a short period of time. However, the main elements of the embassy stayed here for a long time. This was also a great movement which undermined America’s power in the world. In spite of all that power, America suddenly lost its respect in the eyes of the peoples of the world. The situation got so bad that the American President [President Jimmy Carter] resorted to a covert military attack to rescue the hostages. They deployed their spies inside the country. They prepared the ground. They spoke to different mercenaries. They considered different places for their operation. They attacked our country with their helicopters and airplanes. The plan was to regroup in Tabas, go to Tehran, rescue the hostages and take them to America. But the famous event happened in Tabas, and Allah the Exalted destroyed their prestige. Their airplanes and helicopters caught fire, and they were forced to return to America from Tabas. Nov 3, 2010