Iran Leader: France defends freedom of speech, but shelters terrorists
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has condemned the French president for supporting the publication of offensive cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad under the guise of free speech, while at the same time providing a safe haven for anti-Iran terrorists.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a televised address on Tuesday, marking the birth anniversary of Islam’s Holy Prophet, which coincides with the Islamic Unity Week festivities.
The Leader described what has recently transpired in France as the latest manifestation of the hostile confrontation of global arrogance and Zionism towards Islam, rather than being simply an error committed at the hands of a deviant artist.
“Rather than being simply the result of a singular error committed by an artist afflicted with deviance and corruption, it indicates that there are hands behind this incident. Because a president suddenly stands behind an ordinary work of art and certain other governments lend him their support," the leader said, adding the policy signifies an organized intent.
The Leader pointed out to the outpour of anger and the protests in Muslim communities worldwide, adding the reaction is a sign that “the Muslim world is alive.”
Ayatollah Khamenei denounced the French government for defending “the cultural savagery and criminal act of a cartoonist” under the pretext of defending freedom of expression, exclaiming that this is the same government that has been sheltering the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorists, who have the blood of thousands of Iranians on their hands.
“There is a lesson in this. Here, the French government is linking the story to human rights and freedom of expression. Whereas it has been sheltering the most violent terrorists in the world. Those who martyred the Iranian president, judiciary chief, prime minister and several officials, as well as 17,000 ordinary people [decades ago].”
Ayatollah Khamenei also recalled how France had provided substantial assistance to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein when he waged an eight-year war against Iran during the 1980s.
“The French government was one of the biggest supporters of the regime of bloodthirsty wolfish Saddam during the imposed war,” he noted.
On the significance of Muslim unity
The Leader hailed the designation of the Unity Week by the late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini, noting that the recent developments and the rifts among Muslim countries underline the significance of remaining united more than ever before.
Ayatollah Khamenei also pointed to the treachery committed by certain states in normalizing relations with the Zionist regime of Israel, and trampling on the rights of the Palestinian people.
“Of course, the issue of Palestine is not over. Palestine will belong to Palestinians and the fake Zionist regime will be destroyed.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also referred to Iranian students’ takeover of the former
American embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, commending it as “perfectly