Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Who Will Respond to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

As protests in Iran continue, the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, recently elaborated on the strategy of “exporting the revolution,” saying that the “revolution does indeed now extend from Iran to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon” and that “the US was defeated in these three countries.”

He also discussed an “American plan” to bring down six countries- Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Somalia- with the aim of “eliminating Iran’s strategic depth in the region.” These statements deserve our attention.

From Iran, Farideh Moradkhani, the niece of the Supreme Leader, took the reins in responding to her uncle’s statements, releasing a short video in which she calls his authorities “a criminal and a child-killing regime” and asks foreign governments to cut ties with Tehran.

Of course, citizens across Iran had responded earlier in protests that had left the Mullah regime in a difficult position. The regime is contradicting itself and has nothing to boast of now, according to its Supreme Leader, besides its foreign expansion, which has been disastrous for the entire region and led to the imposition of sanctions on Iran.

The question now is: who among the officials of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, and even Libya (this is one of the few times Khamenei has discussed Iran’s role in Libya) will rebuke his statements? Is there an international commment on that now? And which groups does Iran support in Libya?

As for the Arab countries that Khamenei has bragged about expanding to, and exporting the revolution to them, whom among their officials will repudiate the Supreme Leader’s claims, asserting that their country should be independent and that he rejects Iranian expansion, or rather occupation?

What is remarkable about Khamenei’s statements is that he did not mention Yemen. There are two explanations for this: either Khamenei does not want to accept responsibility for the crimes of the Houthi terrorists his regime supports and thus wants to avoid reprisal from international powers. It would be an attempt to make Yemen about only Saudi Arabia, just as the leftist Arab media is doing.

The second potential explanation is that Khamenei wants to leave the door to a new round of negotiations with Saudi Arabia open despite the fact Khamenei’s regime is not an honest negotiator. It does not respect international laws or the rights of its neighbors either, as it is demonstrating in Iraq.

It is also worth noting that Khamenei recently stressed that negotiating with the US is useless and achieves nothing. This means that the regime is unwilling and unable to reform. It can only survive by maintaining its extremism.

All of this makes evident that the Mullah regime is in a tight spot. It has nothing new to offer. As far as it is concerned, the clock stopped ticking since it expanded- more specifically, the moment the US invaded Kuwait. It can neither take progress nor take a step back. It cannot even survive.

More important than these changes is that the regime has been rejected by the Iranian people themselves, as have the countries that the revolution “has expanded to.” Indeed, the Shiites of Iraq and Lebanon have expressed their opposition to his regime, and his statements embarrass them more than anything else.

And so we ask: who among the officials of countries will respond to Khamenei’s explicit endorsement of his country’s occupation of Lebanon and destruction of Iraq?