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Iranians not scared of Obama ‘threats’, says cleric

As Washington moves to prepare a new slate of sanctions against Iran, a senior cleric says US President Barack Obama is beginning to show his “ugly face.”

“Washington has truly unveiled its ugly face in its recent dealings with Iran,” said Tehran’s Interim Friday Prayers Leader, Kazem Seddiqi.

“We see now, more than ever, that there has been no change in the US course of action. [US officials] should in practice show that they are committed to change and respect the rights of others,” he added.

Seddiqi said that contrary to what many countries believe it is not an honor, nor a credit, to have close relations with Washington. “Why would being an ally of a hegemonic and warmongering power be seen as a sign of respect?”

He warned that the US tends to use the language of threat as a means to force its will on countries. “The language of threat will never force the Iranian nation into giving up its nuclear rights,” he noted.

“Have they learned nothing from the Iranian nation’s brave resistance against [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein during the eight years of war he imposed against the country?” Seddiqi asked.

“Iranians prevailed over Saddam even though he was aided and abetted by all the major powers in the world; so what are they trying to scare us of?” he asked again.

The US government, over the past few days, has gone out of its way to show its deep discontent with Iran.

On November 18, US authorities seized the building of the Alavi Foundation in New York, accusing it of providing financial aid for Iran’s nuclear program.

The Alavi Foundation is a non-profit organization promoting charitable and philanthropic causes in the United States that promote Islamic culture and Persian language, literature and civilization.

This comes as on November 6, the US Treasury Department decided to impose sanctions on the Malaysian-based subsidiary of Bank Mellat, which is said to be Iran’s second-largest bank.

Moreover, Obama warned on Thursday that the six nations negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program have assembled a new package of punitive measures against Tehran in the coming weeks.

The tight measures come after Iran sought amendments to a Western-backed proposal put forth by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The proposal, in its current state, asks Iran to send most of its domestically produced low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad for further refinement.

Iran needs 20 percent-enriched uranium to power the Tehran nuclear reactor, which produces medicine for cancer treatment and other scientific necessities.

In a counter-proposal, Tehran has suggested keeping the LEU in a room sealed by the IAEA inside the country until the higher-enrich uranium arrives. Under this proposal, the exchange would be completed in two stages — 400 kg of Iran’s LEU would be exchanged with 58 kg of 20 percent-enriched uranium in each stage.

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