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Overshadowed by Two Major Deaths, Iranian Regime’s Supreme Leader Asserts His Vitality

Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivers his speech on the anniversary of Ruhollah Khomeini’s death- June 3, 2024

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Fifteen days after the death of Ebrahim Raisi, a president favored by Ali Khamenei, the regime’s Supreme Leader used the anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Ruhollah Khomeini, to deceive a restive society as well as the international community. Speaking from a high-level and distant place to hand-picked followers of his regime, he aimed to convey that his power remains undiminished and that he is still capable of influencing both regional and global affairs.

During his speech, he expressed fulfillment with the eight-month-long Gaza conflict that has caused widespread bloodshed and global tension. He claimed that “the miraculous Operation Al-Aqsa Storm thwarted the enemies’ grand plan to dominate the region and the Islamic world.”

Revealing his fear of his own regional isolation, Khamenei said, “This sinister plot was close to being executed, but the miraculous Al-Aqsa storm dismantled all the efforts of America, Zionism, and their followers. Given the events of the past eight months, there is no hope for reviving that plan.”

Khamenei added, “The Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, which took place on October 7, was precisely what the region needed. Our region needed this operation. It was a response to a great regional need, which I will elaborate on. The Operation Al-Aqsa Storm occurred exactly at the moment the region needed it.”

In his speech, Khamenei praised the killer and butcher of the Iranian people, referring to Ebrahim Raisi as a “martyr of service” – someone who died serving his regime. In a reverse acknowledgment of Ebrahim Raisi’s unpopularity, Khamenei claimed to speak on behalf of “all media, social networks, and various individuals and groups,” stating, “I felt for Raisi, as some were not even willing to say a word in his favor during his lifetime. Despite his prominent contributions, they either concealed or misrepresented them, causing him distress. Though he often didn’t respond, he sometimes came to me to voice his complaints.”

He added, “Our President (Raisi) was clear in his stance against the enemies of the revolution. He did not speak ambiguously about those who were against the revolution, those who opposed it, or were enemies of it. He spoke clearly. He had a clear delineation. He did not trust the enemy’s smiles. This is merit. These are lessons. Each of these serves as a model for our politicians, for our future presidents, and for those who gain the trust of the nation in any capacity.”

Khamenei also expressed his fear of a nationwide boycott of the regime’s sham elections. Referring to the state ceremonies for Raisi and other state officials who died in a helicopter crash on May 19, he claimed, “Contrary to the enemies’ claims and some internal repetitions that the Islamic Republic has lost its national assets, the millions who attended the martyrs’ farewell showed that this unparalleled national asset remains intact… There is a strong emotional bond between the people and officials like Raisi and Soleimani.”

For the next presidential sham election, Khamenei urged his officials to maximize their efforts for a display of power: “If, God willing, this election is held grandly and impressively, and after this tragic event, the people choose the next official with a high turnout, it will be a significant achievement for the Iranian nation and will have a tremendous global impact. Therefore, the July 8 election is very important.”

Khamenei also made clear that he expects the next president to be in line with his demands. He said, “For Iran to safeguard its interests, stabilize its strategic depth in complex international dynamics, unlock its natural and human potential to sweeten the country’s future, and fill economic and cultural gaps, it needs a dynamic, hardworking, knowledgeable president committed to the principles of the revolution.”

Once again acknowledging the fierce power struggles within his regime, Khamenei warned officials against undermining and slandering each other, stating, “Slander, accusations, and mudslinging do not help progress and damage national dignity. The election scene is one of honor, heroism, and competition for service.”

It is clear that Khamenei, having lost key officials he had invested in for nearly a decade, faces significant challenges. He must manage an explosive society and a war-torn region with a corrupt government embroiled in intense power conflicts. Falling for Khamenei’s demonstrations of regional influence and disregarding his admissions of internal illegitimacy and power crises only confirm one thing: the strength of rogue regimes is only as effective as the inaction of those who have vowed to stand tall facing them.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on the same day, “The Palestinian people do not need wars that do not serve their ambitions for freedom and independence, the Palestinian presidency said on Monday in response to remarks by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“The Palestinian Presidency responded by saying such remarks were clearly aimed at sacrificing Palestinian blood and would not lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”