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imperialism & war

Iran leader condemns US 'stupidity'

Iranian Supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has condemned what he described as the "stupid" and "shameless" actions of US troops in the Iraqi Shia holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.
He said the abuse of prisoners in Iraq showed that the US had merely taken the place of Saddam Hussein, and that it was time for them to leave the "bog of their own making".

The following are excerpts from his remarks, delivered in a speech to theology students and broadcast by Iranian radio:

No Muslim, particularly a Shia, can remain calm in the face of the recent events in Najaf and Karbala...

[The US soldiers] have taken their tanks and artillery and armed forces to the holy site of Karbala. They have shown disrespect to the sacred dome of the Lord of the Faithful. They have fired bullets at the dome. That is not something that faithful Muslims can tolerate or accept...

The Americans have combined stupidity with shamelessness. They are audacious and unrestrained. They are encroaching upon the people's sanctities and what the people love...

Muslim people, particularly Shia - in our own country or in Iraq, in various Iraqi cities or in other parts of the world - will not remain silent at this American encroachment and audacity...

They think they can rule Iraq without any difficulty, take Iraq's oil and humiliate the Iraqi people. What happened at Abu Ghraib prison showed this, and recently it became clear that this has not happened only at Abu Ghraib. It has happened at all, or at least most, American prisons in Iraq...

The president and the gang ruling America say they did not know what was going on. That is how they have apologised. They say they did not know and that they have closed Saddam's torture chambers...

You have not closed Saddam's torture chambers. You have replaced Saddam...

They say they did not know. They are lying, because the Red Cross explicitly declared that it had informed senior army officers and Americans of what was going on a long time ago...

It was wrong for the Americans to go into Iraq. It was wrong for them to stay. Their treatment of the people was wrong. Imposing an American ruler on the people was wrong. Going to Karbala and Najaf was wrong. The things that they did recently were especially wrong. They should realise that the Islamic world, and particularly the Shia world, will not remain silent...

They have killed the innocent people of Najaf and Karbala. The have killed dozens of people. The crime that they have committed is the greatest of crimes. The Islamic world condemns it. The Iranian nation condemns it. The world's Shia condemn it.

The Americans will fail on this path. The more they go along this path, the more they will sink in this bog of their own making...

The Americans are trapped. There is nothing they can do. They will fail if they continue along this path, and they will fail if they pull out. But continuing will be the greater defeat.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

homepage: homepage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3719095.stm