The main source of the “lack of security, the backwardness, the disputes and the plundering of property in Iraq” is the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, said Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in Qom Province on Friday.

During a sermon aired on Iran’s Channel 2 on Saturday, Ayatollah Mohammad Saidi recalled the 1979 student takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, which led to the Iran hostage crisis, and said that the Iraqi people should “draw the lesson” from Iran. The audience chanted: “Allah Akbar! Khamenei is the Leader … Death to America! Death to England … Death to Israel!”

The following is a partial transcript of the Saidi’s remarks:

Ayatollah Mohammad Saidi: The main source of the lack of security, the backwardness, the disputes, and the plundering of property in Iraq is the American embassy in that country. The main source of all the strife is the American embassy in Iraq. If the students who followed the path of Imam [Ruhollah Khomeini] had not taken over the American embassy at the beginning of the [1979 Islamic] Revolution, and had they not exposed America’s crimes. … Rest assured that if Imam [Khomeini] had not authorized this measure, the second revolution—with the struggle against America at its core—would not have crystallized.


“Right now, the only way for salvation, healing, and release from the American strife in Iraq is for the Iraqi people to draw the lesson from the successful experience of Islamic Iran.”

Audience: Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Khamenei is the leader! Death to those who oppose the Rule of the Jurisprudent! Death to America! Death to England! Death to the hypocrites and the infidels! Death to Israel!”

Ayatollah Saidi: The honorable Iraqi people must know that the American embassy in Baghdad is the cornerstone and center of strife in Iraq.”

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